27 May 2013

HOT ROD

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  08:00   SISSY SPACEK

Hot Rod Cover Have you ever contemplated what it would be like if you were somebody else? HUH? What do you mean 'No'? You liar! Of course you have! A hero of some sorts. An actor of some standing. Or a profession of some status. There! Now you're talking! Just like this film in fact. One Directed by Akiva Schaffer; and Starring: Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Isla Fisher, and Sissy Spacek. It was made in 2007, and last for 88 minutes.


Hot Rod


THE STORY:
Now when Rod Kimble's (Andy Samberg) loving Mother, Marie (Sissy Spacek), told him that his stepfather, Frank (Ian McShane), desperately needs some major heart surgery to stay alive; you might have thought that this revelation would've made Ron one sad looking teenager!

But no. It does not. Ron hates Frank. In fact, Ron hates Frank so much, he is willing to follow in his deceased Father footsteps -- and become a stunt-man -- just so he can raise enough money for his operation -- $50,000 -- and then, once Frank get's better, kick the living shit out of him.

Yeah! I'm not messing about, folks! Ron's mate, Dave (Bill Hader), can sorts out his mechanics for him. Ron's other mate, Rico (Danny McBride), can build him some ramps. His half-brother, Kevin (Jorma Taccone), can be his own personal documentarian. Plus his girl pal, Denise (Isla Fisher) can be... errr... the pretty young girl he fancy's.

Furthermore, not only does Rod need some accompaniment on this crazy crusade, but he also needs to bash, crash, and slash his way into physical fitness first, before he can then charge his way through numerous 'stages performances': for Mayors, for minors, and for maudlin housewives too.

Phew! Now doesn't all of that sound very impressive to you, dear reader? However, is it as impressive as when Kevin manages to capture all of Ron stunts on film, and then, with some help from his friends, stages a theatrical viewing in a cinema to raise the money in question? Or is it as impressive as when when said theatrical viewing somehow manages to makes Ron lose his cash, lose his gang, and lose his faith in humanity in the process?

Still, whatever the case may be, I suppose that is why what next transpires all begins when a Radio station comes a calling. As turnaround is fair play - a pretty young girl sees the way - you've gotta just love a stunt - and at when push comes to shove, it has been known that a very ill parent can be a right f*king c*nt.

Cool beans baby. Cool-cool beans.





THE REVIEW:
Now when I first sat down and watched 'Hot Rod', I have to admit, I didn't think that I would like it very much. Honestly. I remember the era this film attempts to depict as if it were only yesterday (the 1980's). It was a time where people carried around filofaxes  had big hair, bigger ego's, and thought that the word 'cool' would somehow make them cool just by saying it out loud. But it wasn't cool you know. No. Not by a long shot.

Granted, in my mind I liked to think of it as being cool. But it wasn't. I would have much rather preferred it to be something like the aforementioned film: staged on occasion, cheesy by nature, crass here and there, yet by in large a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs that came across like a mixture 'Happy Day's' meets 'Jackass' rolled into one.

Isla in Hot Rod
Yeah. I kid you not. This film was a right hoot to watch. As it both satirises and entertains on so many different levels. Here, let me tell you what I mean by this in bullet-point form. (1)  As I mentioned previously, the style and content of this film is one hundred percent pure eighties inspired. Yeah. You name it. It does it. Evil Kenevil. Power ballads. Bold mustaches. Machismo bravado. Archetypal sidekicks. Plus cornball family dynamics. All of which are presented in a number of bastardized hybrids that are just fun-on-film. (2) Now the cast in this film are really great in their respective roles too. Truefully. It's as though they've got an almost symbiotic connection on who they are and what their characters are supposed to represent. Andy is the Adam Sandler clone. Jorma is the nerdy younger brother. Bill is the hippy. Danny is the macho brute. Plus Isla is the straight man [or woman in her case]. Moreover, the parents and the supporting players are just great as well -- especially Mike McShane -- who plays the most prick faced step-father I have ever seen in my life [with good reason of course]. (3) Without being too bodacious about it, I have to mention the 'Jackass' type stunts performed throughout this flick. Not only because they were very enjoyable to watch [so to speak], but you'd have to be a right idiot to want to perform these stunts yourself. Nuff said.


Andy and Isla in Hot Rod


Andy with a Mustache in Hot Rod
OK, so before I tell you what I didn't like about 'Hot Rod', I think it best that I present you with some filmic facts first. (1) 'Paramount Pictures' released this $25.3 million dollar production on the 3rd of August, 2007, and only made back $14 million dollars at the box office. Yes. It was a flop. (2) I kid you not, Bill Hader didn't wear a wig in this movie. It was his own hair bonded with some extensions. (3) Originally this flick was supposed to be a vehicle for the comedian, Will Ferrell. But he didn't want to star in it. He wanted to be a producer instead. Which he did. (4) Even though Andy Samberg plays the older brother of Jorma Taccone in this adventure, in actual fact, Jorma is the older one out of the two by a year. (5) Derek, the character who gives Dave the acid in this flick, is played by it's director, Akiva Schaffer. (6) In the scene where Rod jumps over the 15 school buses, you might be able to see his 'real' mother and father, plus over 1,200 film extras, watching him performing this stunt in the background. But only if you look real quick. Ha! (7) Jorma, Andy, and Akiva, shot this movie from June to September, 2006, in the following locations situated throughout the Canadian State of British Columbia: Burnaby Secondary School, Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School, Cloverdale, North Burnaby, Pemberton Avenue, and Vancouver. (8) Believe it or not, this film shares exactly the same premise as the 1998 Bob Saget movie, 'Dirty Work', about a young kid attempting to raise $50,000 for his pain in the ass father's heart transplant operation. It also has a cast comprising of 'Saturday Night Live' cast members as well.


The Guys of Hot Rod


Now where was I? Oh yeah! The bad of 'Hot Rod'. Well, if truth be told; it wasn't bad-bad per-say. Rather, there were two little gripes that didn't really work for me in hindsight. Firstly, I best mention that the 'love story' didn't really seem pertinent with the confines of this tale. Nah! It wasn't very convincing because Isla’s too pretty for Andy. And secondly, there is the Adam Sandler issue I mentioned before. At times it does appear that Samberg is channeling him somehow (take that however you wish), and his over-acting -- although funny -- can appear quite grating and stupid as well.

Overall, though, ‘Hot Rod’ is one great film. If you like your comedies’ bold, your music eighties, and your stunts silly, then you have to watch this flick. Here, check this out for a taster...




Cool Beans.

THE RATING: B+

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