1 hour, 23 minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for crude humor, language, some comic drug-related and violent content.
Commentary by Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone; Ancestors protect me: Behind the scenes of Hot Rod; Deleted & extended scenes; Outtakes; Theatrical trailer.
Rod Kimble - Andy Samberg
Denise - Isla Fisher
Kevin Powell - Jorma Taccone
Dave - Bill Hader
Rico - Danny McBride
Frank Powell - Ian McShane
Marie Powell - Sissy Spacek
Jonathan - Will Arnett
Barry Pasternak - Chris Parnell
Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg - TV's SNL) is an amateur stuntman who is contantly going from one daredevil stunt to another, crashing and burning every time. But nothing seems to break his spirits. His abusive step-father Frank (Ian McShane - TV's "Deadwood") doesn't respect him or his stunts and tosses him around like a rag doll in their weekly sparring sessions. But when his step-dad falls ill, it's up to Rod to to perform a death defying jump in order to pay for the operation that will save his step-father's life. He needs to raise $50,000 for Frank's heart operation, and the only way he knows to save the miserable old guy is by jumping his roaring motorcycle over 15 buses.
Compared to the unpredictable spontaneity of the riotous comedies "Borat" and "Jackass," "Hot Rod" fails over and over to deliver, despite a likeable performance by Andy Samberg. Sissy Spacek ("In The Bedroom"), plays Rod's mom, in a small thankless role. and the lovely Isla Fisher ("Wedding Crashers") is equally underused as Rod's love interest. She's mostly stuck playing the straight girl to a boorish Will Arnett ("Blades of Glory"). The most noteworth performance comes from Ian McShane as Rod's abusive stepfather.
Never showing the actual leap over 15 buses, but only close-ups and reaction shots, the entire movie instead builds to a final knock-down, drag-out fight between Samberg and McShane. In fact that scene features the movie's best stuntwork. Stunt fans will also enjoy a "punch dancing" sequence in the woods, a clever riff on training montages featured in countless sports movies, which ends with Rod taking an extremely bumpy tumble down a very long hill.
"Hot Rod" delivers plenty of laughs while paying minimal attention to character. It is yet another example of a comedy that you'll be unable to take very seriously, but at least you'll have a chuckle or two.