Hot Rod (film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Akiva Schaffer|
|Produced by||John Goldwyn
|Editing by||Malcolm Campbell|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||August 3, 2007|
|Running time||88 minutes|
Hot Rod is a 2007 American comedy film written by Pam Brady (along with Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, who were uncredited), executive produced by Will Ferrell and directed by Akiva Schaffer. It stars Andy Samberg, Sissy Spacek, Jorma Taccone, Will Arnett, Danny McBride, Ian McShane, Isla Fisher, and Bill Hader. The film was released in America on August 3, 2007. It was rated PG-13 in the United States and 12A in the United Kingdom and is The Lonely Island's first feature film.
Throughout his entire life, Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) believed his father, now deceased, was a successful and respectable stuntman working for Evel Knievel. He aspires to follow in his father's footsteps and become a famous stuntman himself. Meanwhile, his stepfather Frank (Ian McShane) fails to respect Rod as a man, often going out of his way to beat him in sparring sessions and mocking his stuntman dream.
Rod makes many attempts at landing jumps with his Tomos moped, most of them ending unsuccessfully. After an ill-fated jump attempt at the public pool, he returns home to find out that Frank is in urgent need of a heart transplant. Angry at the thought of his stepfather dying without getting a chance to "smash his face in" and gain his respect, Rod goes to a forest to be mad and starts dancing out of rage (a sequence loosely based on the movie Footloose), ending up with Rod rolling down an enormous hill after tripping. At the bottom of the hill, he sees a sign that gives him an idea to save Frank. He tells his friends Rico (Danny McBride), Dave (Bill Hader) and his half brother Kevin (Jorma Taccone) about his plan to do a jump over the length of fifteen school buses, and give the proceeds to his stepfather's surgery. He also adds Denise (Isla Fisher), his college-graduate neighbor on whom he has a crush, to his crew.
To promote his stunt and also raise funds, Rod works parties, corporate get togethers, and other events, performing activities such as taping pillows to his body and having a washing machine, suspended by a crane, swing to hit him. Kevin releases a movie using his footage of Rod's stunts and sells over 200 tickets, but everyone at the movie laughs at Rod's expense because the film depicts his failed training attempts. Rod gets angry and throws the theater's projector out of a window, smashing a car below. Rod ends up giving up all the money he has raised so far to cover the respective damages. Upset, he returns home, where his mother reveals to him that his father was not the stuntman he thought he was. Humiliated, Rod quits the crew and ends his dream to beat up his stepfather, despite his friends' interventions. However, he takes up the jump again when Dave asks Rod to take him to the hospital due to an injury while "trippin' balls" under the influence of acid given to him by his friend Derek (Akiva Schaffer). When he does, Dave gives him advice that inspires Rod to apologize to Kevin. As Kevin accepts his apology, he also reveals that Rod's stunt footage has gotten popular through the Internet, and a local AM radio station hosted by Barry Pasternak (Chris Parnell) offers to cover the expenses of the jump.
Rod gets the crew back together and they start setting up for the jump. On the day of the jump, his friends give him a new suit, a rock (to represent extensive pyrotechnic work done by Rico), and a motorbike. He also receives a kiss from Denise, who broke up with Jonathan (Will Arnett), her insensitive and callous boyfriend. As Rod jumps off the ramp, the speed of his new motorbike enables him to jump over the buses, but as he gives his friends a thumbs up, they realize that he had let go of his bike in the process. The bike smashes through a stage and Rod's body slams against the ground, sliding and skidding before he finally stops. As his friends nurse him from his unconscious state, he has a 'freaky, out of body experience' in which he witnesses an anthropomorphic taco beating up a grilled cheese sandwich—a topic he and Denise had a debate over earlier in the movie. Rod, with the help of Kevin and Denise, triumphantly gets up to the applause of the crowd, and sees that the donations have accumulated over $50,000, the cost of Frank's 'conveniently priced' surgery. The film ends as Rod (with his own moustache) again spars with Frank. Over the course of the fight, Rod gains the upper hand and succeeds in making his stepfather respect him (then makes him defecate in his pants using a tai-chi move that Denise taught him).
- Andy Samberg – "Hot" Rod Kimble
- Jorma Taccone – Kevin Powell
- Bill Hader – Dave McLean
- Danny McBride – Rico Brown
- Isla Fisher – Denise Harris
- Sissy Spacek – Marie Powell
- Ian McShane – Frank Powell
- Will Arnett – Jonathan Ault
- Chris Parnell – Barry Pasternak
- Chester Tam – Richardson
- Mark Acheson – Homeless Dude
- Alvin Sanders – Furious Boss
- Akiva Schaffer – Derek
- Britt Irvin – Cathy Fay
- Brittany Tiplady – Maggie Mclean
- Andrew Moxham – Sullivan
Development and filming 
Will Ferrell and Jimmy Miller worked on the script along with Pam Brady with Ferrell as the lead (Miller remains uncredited, but has produced several of Ferrell's films). When Andy Samberg signed on, the film was rewritten by Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and director Akiva Schaffer. According to Schaffer: "We definitely put our own stamp on it. We had to make it feel like it was ours... so you assume a little bit of ownership."
Shooting locations for the film include Cloverdale in Surrey, British Columbia, and under the Surrey end of the Pattullo Bridge, just southeast of Vancouver. Other locations in British Columbia include Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Burnaby and Downtown Vancouver.
Critical reception 
As of May 30, 2012 the film has a rating of 39% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 104 reviews (41 Fresh, 63 Rotten). On IMDb the film had a rating of 6.5/10 from 36,233 users.  On Metacritic the film had a rating of 43% (mixed or average reviews) based on 27 reviews. However in recent times the film has taken on a cult status among comedy fans due to its charm and offbeat humour.
Box office 
The film opened at #9 at the U.S. box office and grossed $5.3 million in its opening weekend. Overall, it bombed in theaters, leaving after 68 days and having grossed just under $14 million in its entire run.
Home release 
Hot Rod was released on Region One DVD and HD DVD on November 27, 2007, and in Region Two in January 2008. It made $24 million on DVD rentals in the United States – 46% over its box office gross. It was released on Blu-ray December 16, 2008, but the disc went out-of-print less than a year later on October 11, 2009. The DVD remains in print.
|Soundtrack album by Various|
|Released||July 31, 2007|
The soundtrack was composed by ex-Yes guitarist, Trevor Rabin. Several songs by the Swedish rock band Europe are in the movie, including "Cherokee" and "Rock the Night." The trailer contains three Swedish rock songs, Europe's "Cherokee" and "The Final Countdown," and The Hives' "See Through Head." It also includes the UK rock band, Test Icicles' "Circle. Square. Triangle," as well as American Hi-Fi's "The Art of Losing." The band called Gown that plays at Rod's final jump is actually Queens of the Stone Age.
- "Danger on the Track" – Europe
- "A Gringo Like Me" – Ennio Morricone
- "Never" – Moving Pictures
- "Two of Hearts" – Stacey Q
- "Cherokee" – Europe
- "Skulls" – The Nutley Brass (Written by Glenn Danzig)
- "Street Luge" – Trevor Rabin
- "You're the Voice" – John Farnham
- "Head Honcho" – Gown
- "Chase" – Giorgio Moroder
- "Cool Beans" – Jorma Taccone & Andy Samberg
- "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" – Cutting Crew
- "Dave on Acid" – Trevor Rabin
- "Rock the Night" – Europe
- "Stunt Suite" – Trevor Rabin
- "Time Has Come" – Europe
- "The Real Bass" – Brooklyn Bounce
- Hot Rod (2007) – Weekend Box Office Results
- Movie Hot Rod – Box Office Data, News, Cast Information – The Numbers
- http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/529443-out-print-titles-recently-discovered-2nd-thread-14.html DVDTalk Forum | Out-of-Print Titles (recently discovered)
- Official website
- Hot Rod at the Internet Movie Database
- Hot Rod at AllRovi
- Hot Rod at Rotten Tomatoes
- Hot Rod at Metacritic
- Hot Rod at Box Office Mojo
- The Lonely Island Revs Up Hot Rod Premiere.com
- Hot Rod Trailer
- The Lonely Island
- Official Hot Rod iOS App