Hot Rod

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Jorma Taccone, Bill Hader, with Sissy Spacek and Ian McShane. Comedy. Written by Pam Brady. Directed by Akiva Schaffer.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Amateur stuntman and professional slacker Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) has a problem his step-father Frank (Ian McShane) doesnt respect him. And despite his efforts to win his favor, Rod cant seem to penetrate Franks hard shell. But when Frank falls ill, it's up to Rod to stage the jump of his life in order to save his stepfather. The plan: Jump 15 buses, raise the money for Frank's heart operation, and then best him in a martial arts battle. Of course, nothing goes right for the neer-do-well.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Anybody remember Super Dave Osborn? He was the stone-faced comic who made his way playing a not-so-successful Evil Knievel. His dry wit was hysterical and he played his role with great intensity and sincerity. Youd see him begin some stunt that no one could possibly survive. And he never did. It was so obvious that he had been replaced by a dummy just before a pummeling collision. This added to the humor. Well, Rod Kimble and Hot Rod are kind of an update of this loser daredevil concept. It is also very funny. Keep in mind, however, that today dry wit is overshadowed by sophomoric crudity. Super Dave never swore, almost never made lewd remarks, and mostly steered clear of vulgar sexual terminology. So be forewarned. You will laugh, and ultimately there is a sweet spirit to the character and the production, but it is peppered with a coarseness that has replaced wit and inventiveness.

DVD Alternative: The Party. Peter Sellers stars as a good-hearted bumbler who accidentally destroys a movie set, and then manages to do the same to a fancy party given by the films producer. There are a few risqu moments, but it is pretty tame by todays standards. And extremely funny and good-natured. Sellers is terrific.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Paramount Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several crude visuals that include uncouth toilet humor, and a few crude sexual terms lace the script.

Obscene Language: Around ten obscenities, mostly the s-word; four or five mild expletives (damns or hells).

Profanity: Played for laughs, the one churchgoer in Rods group is the one that beats up a bully; as he does it, he profanes Gods name twice. And many in the audience laughed at it.

Violence: Lots of slapstick pratfalls and dangerous situations, but they are so over the top and it is obvious that a dummy replaces our bumbling hero; still, there are a few shocking visuals, such as a strolling Rod being hit by a car, then a truck.

Sex: Some sexual references, but no graphic sexual acts.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: One of Rods crew gets stoned; much humor is derived from this incident.

Other: None

Running Time: 88 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Up

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