Release Date: August 3rd, 2007 by Paramount Pictures.
The Cast: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, Danny R. McBride, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane, Will Arnett.
Directed by Akiva Schaffer.
BASIC PREMISE: Rod Kimble (Samberg) prepares to jump over 15 buses with a motorcycle to raise $50,000 for his fatherís (McShane) life-saving heart transplant.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Hot Rod tries to be funny and offbeat, but just succeeds at being lively and offbeat in a silly and dumb way with a few decent laughs. Rod, a young man who spends his time doing stunts, still lives with his mother (Spacek), father and younger brother (Taccone). During the day, he hangs out with a few of his friends who help him out with the stunts. For the rest of the silly plot, Rod trains for a big stunt that would, hopefully, raise $50,000 for his fatherís heart transplant, which insurance wonít cover. If only he could ask Michael Moore to take his father on a boat to Cuba for free healthcare. The main problem here is that no character or actor, for that matter, stands out in any remarkable way. Andy Samberg tries to channel Will Ferrell and Jon Heder in his performance, but, for the most part, just seems dull. Isla Fisher doesnít have much to do as Denise, Rodís love interest who dates a control-freak jerk (Arnett) in an unnecessary subplot. Screenwriter Pam Grady mostly lacks imagination and goes for lowbrow, offbeat humor that often falls flat with repetitiveness and poor comic timing. At least director Akiva Schaffer maintains a fast pace and a decent running time for a comedy at a 88 minutes, unlike I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Knocked Up which both clock nearly two hours. It would have been if there were some outtakes during the end credits, though.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you check your brain at the door.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Offbeat, lively and silly with a few laughs, but mostly repetitive, dull and inane.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "H" Menu