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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Hot Rod (11/27/2007)

PG-13 for crude humor, language, some comic drug-related and violent content.

Directed by Akiva Schaffer (first feature movie)

Starring Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Mark Acheson, Bill Hader, Danny R. McBride, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Ian McShane and Will Arnett


Todd's Rating: Rental

Hot Rod is ridiculous...ridiculously funny!

Rod Kimble (Samberg) is a self-proclaimed stuntman. And by a self-proclaimed stuntman I mean he rides a mo-ped while wearing a homemade costume and a fake mustache. Rod has had a less than stellar career but decides he will attempt the stunt of his life. A jump over fifteen buses in order to raise money for his abusive stepfather Frank's (Ian McShane) life-saving heart operation. He’s not motivated by love, in fact after another beating from Frank, Rod yells, "I'm going to get you better…then I'm going to beat you to death." Sorry, but that’s hilarious.

Rod’s crew is just as ridiculous. There’s Rico (Danny R. McBride), his ramp builder who never seems to have the time for that final safety check and Dave (Bill Hader), the mechanic who seems to have no real mechanical training or ability. Then you have Rod's younger stepbrother, Kevin (Jorma Taccone), who runs the camcorder and Denise (Isla Fisher), the girl next door who is way out of Rod’s league.

There are so many big laugh-out-loud moments throughout this movie like when Rod slams into a landing ramp on his mo-ped or when he crashes into a parked van while riding a luge or when he lights himself on fire at a birthday party. But my personal favorite was the over exaggerated rolling down a mountain for like 10 minutes bouncing off rocks and trees. If you just rolled your eyes…stop reading and skip the movie. On the other hand, if that image makes you laugh – go see it right now.
Although there is a pretty strong message about the needs for dads in our lives, this movie doesn't take itself too seriously and neither should you, just enjoy the ride.

SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
There is not a lot of over the top offensive material in Hot Rod. The PG-13 rating is mostly for crude humor and language because the violent content is ridiculous and not indented to be graphic or disturbing. I’m not ready to let my 9 and 6 year olds see it, but older kids should be fine.


Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?


  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?


  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?




Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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