I have not been able to get the song “Jizz in My Pants” out of my head lately. Yeah, it’s pretty funny for the first few times. I have a mate who is a bigger fan of the song and recommended the film “Hot Rod” written by and starring the same guys. However, he won’t be my friend much longer if he keeps passing on shite like this…
Rod (Andy Samberg) wants to be a legendary stuntman and win the respect of his grouchy stepdad Frank (Ian McShane). When it’s revealed that Frank needs a heart transplant, Rod pledges to jump his bike over 15 buses – one more than even Evel Knievel managed – to raise the funds. It’s the standard “raise money for good cause” plot that’s trotted out again and again. I liked the idea that Rod only wants to get Frank better to fight him, but it’s done in a really lazy way. The film wants to be “Napoleon Dynamite” so badly that it gets hung up on supposedly quirky lines and characters instead of focusing on trying to bring something new to the tired, hackneyed plot. I really liked Ian McShane, but only because he’s Ian McShane, rather than what he brings to the role of Frank. Isla Fisher was good too, but she’s capable of better.
The film plays out like an unfunny Saturday Night Live sketch, which is fitting as that’s where they’re from. I’m not sure if you have to be American to find “Hot Rod” funny, but I think it probably helps. Just like I think I’d have found “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” funnier if I was Black and American. It’s just really, really boring.
I quite liked the dancing/training montage scene in the woods and the ridiculously long tumble Rod takes down a bank, but that’s about it. Every single time I thought the film was going to do something funny it spoiled it. A good example of this is this scene where Rod and his friends start preparing for the big jump. Slow-motion walking to 80’s cheese fest “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham is funny, the crowd singing along is funnier, but then it decending into a riot isn’t. I can see why it would be funnier to the ADD crowd, but considering I’d stuck with this shit-fest for that damn long, I wanted one decent, unspoiled joke and it couldn’t give it to me. The scene that highlights just how desperate the film is for laughs is the “Cool Beans” scene. I promise you- that video is not a remix- that’s how it appears in the film. Shocking, huh?
I didn’t enjoy “Hot Rod” at all. I got bored of waiting for the jokes to arrive and they never did. Run, don’t walk, away from this stinker.