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12/5/07

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I've known about these filmmakers for a while, they're friends of a friend. I've never had the pleasure of meeting them, but I've heard stories. They started this comedy website The Lonely Island, then moved on to Saturday Night Live, where they gained infamy with the Lazy Sunday short, that became a huge Internet sensation. So when I saw the very funny Hot Rod trailer, I was excited. I meant to see the film in theaters, never got the chance, but watched it as soon as it came out on DVD.

The movie is fairly uneven. One minute it's brilliantly funny, the next you're groaning to yourself. That's because these guys are always pushing their jokes right to the edge; sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Luckily they work more than they don't, so overall the film is pretty damn funny.


SNL's Andy Samberg plays the lead role of Hot Rod, he's an amateur stunt-man, who does little stunts on his moped for his friends and neighbors. The film opens with him unsuccessfully jumping over an ice cream truck, to hilarious results. It was amazing to learn in the commentary that a stunt-man really did the jump, the way his body folds I figured it was a dummy. There are a couple of classic scenes, including a Footloose spoof, where Rod dances off his anger, the scene ends with possibly the longest fall in the history of film.


I loved the basis for the plot too. Rod organizes his biggest stunt in order to raise money to save his step-father, a typical plot device; what makes it funny is that he want so save his dad, so he can kick his ass. Deadwood's Ian McShane plays the step-father, who is constantly testing Rod's manhood by beating the crap out of him. They've got a great chemistry together.


The whole cast really has a great chemistry, you can tell they had a blast making this, and it comes across on the screen. The film is pretty well made, they've got a good idea how to stage their scenes and move the camera. I think it's one of those movies that you'll catch on cable every once and while and not be able to turn it off.


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