If you're reading this review of Hot Rod, you are likely on the internet, which means you have probably seen previous work by filmmakers Andy Samberg (star), Jorma Taccone (co-star), and Akiva Schaffer (director), whose Saturday Night Live snippets have been passed around the web almost as much as quotes misattributed to George Carlin. And if you've read other reviews of Hot Rod anywhere, you've heard about how Samberg and company went from minor online sensation (as part of video-comedy troupe The Lonely Island) to SNL staff (Samberg performs, Taccone and Schaffer write) to SNL internet ambassadors (most famously for the rap video "Lazy Sunday") to, finally, a keen summer job translating their sketch-comedy sensibility to the big screen.
But the appeal of Hot Rod is simpler than viral internet paradigm shifts: it is a very silly movie with a nature equal parts good and strange. Samberg plays Rod, who we infer from other characters to be a twentysomething, but who based on demeanor, ambition, and Samberg's crooked, sometimes crazed smile may be as young as 12. Rod's goal of becoming a much-loved, professional, stand-alone stuntman is such a deliberate anachronism that it's almost completely original, if not for the faintly memorable existence of Evel Knieval -- an existence that gives Rod a lot of hope (his deceased father's profession is explained as more or less Knieval's understudy).
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