Movie: "Hot Rod"
Directed by: Akiva Schaffer
Writing credits: Pam Brady
Plot: Young Rod Kimble dreams of being a stuntman and tries to raise $50,000 to pay for an operation to save his stepfather Frank's life so that he can kick his ass and earn the respect of a man.
Review: This movie was overshadowed by a lot of other films this past summer, including the more popular (and better marketed) comedy Superbad, but for my money this was the funniest comedy of 2007. Admittedly, a lot of that probably has to do with Andy Samberg - I just really like his style and have never failed to find him hilarious, but everyone I have shown this movie to has loved it, so there must be something to it.
Samberg has a real knack for physical comedy, as evidenced by the "punchdancing" sequence, but it's the verbal comedy that really makes this movie for me. The utterly stupid dialog between Rod and his friends never fails to make me laugh, and every scene that they are in (particularly Rico) is a joy to watch. Who among us geeks and nerds hasn't had similarly stupid conversations with their socially awkward friends? This is not a thinking man's comedy, but bits like the falling gag, the Cool Beans scene, and the acid tripping sequence give it an undeniable charm that make it immensely rewatchable.
It also manages to capture the feel of all those 1980s teen underdog comedies, partly in spirit and sentiment, but largely due to the brilliantly chosen movie soundtrack (foregoing Europe's recently overplayed "The Final Countdown" in favor of the rest of the album... particularly the equally cheesy but under-appreciated "Cherokee"). This is not exactly a subtle movie, and yet, there are lots of subtle touches thrown onto these over-the-top moments that clearly show how much fun they had making this movie - and that kind of fun transfers directly to the audience's viewing experience.
So for all of you who ignored this movie in the theaters, I urge you to check it out. You'll either like Samberg and think it's as brilliant as I do, or you'll find it stupid and think I'm insane, but if you're one of those people who appreciates it like me, believe me when I say you'll soon be trying to show this film to as many people as possible.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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