Sunday, 11 December 2016


Fig.1 'Hot Rod' Poster

Directed, co-written and starring, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (members of comedy group The Lonely Island) 'Hot Rod' (2007) follows the journey of Rod, an rookie stuntman on the road to success and fame. His abusive step-father Frank constantly undermines him but when he falls ill, it is up to Rod to raise the money for his heart operation.

Fig.2 Film Still

 As well as the cast of The Lonely Island, the film also stars Danny Mcbride and Bill Hader. Veterans within the comedy genre. The comedy if reminiscent of that from the Saturday Night Live sketches, which is fitting considering the director of the film (Akiva Schaffer) has also directed many of airings of SNL. The humour within the film falls in to many categories first being schadenfreude (Harm-Joy). In a film that centres around an amateur stuntman it's pretty obvious at some point there will be failures, this happens more often than not.  The theatricality and the build up of these mishaps is what causes the laughs, it's over the top and sometimes ridiculous.
It is also quite juvenile, the characters themselves all act like they're still in their early years of high school. They are the outsiders to most of the people in their community and seem very isolated to reality, they all have a sense of angst about them. It's comedy derives from the issues surrounding the characters and their awkwardness.

There is a point in the film where it goes off on a complete tangent, for the most part of the movie the story is coherent and realistic but when Rod becomes sad/angry after a fight with Frank, he ventures out in to the woods and begins to dance...With a backflip here and a cartwheel there, Rod expresses his emotions through the medium of flashdance. Why? No idea, but it is pretty funny due to it's juvenile and surreal nature, it's like the film knows that it's a film but doesn't acknowledge it directly, instead it pays homage to well known 80's movie 'Flashdance' (1983) And then... he falls down a hill (for 5 minutes) landing awkwardly with every tumble. 

Fig.3 Film Still

In conclusion, 'Hot Rod'  is an entertaining film full of multiple styles of comedy, slapstick, juvenile and a lot of harm-joy which hopes to please a wide variety of audiences. It's an amalgamation of various gags all tied together by a simple storyline that goes out of its way to please the viewer. It's characters are awkwardly funny for most of the film. The film ends on a high but not without one last stint of failure and bones breaking. All in all 'Hot Rod' is, in the words of Rod himself, Cool beans.


Figure. 1 'Hot Rod' (2007) [Poster] At: Accessed on: 11/12/2016 

Figure. 2 [Film Still] At: Accessed on: 11/12/2016

Figure. 3 [Film Still] At: Accessed on: 11/12/2016

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