Parents' Guide to

Hot Rod

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Awesomely dumb slapstick is for teens and adults only.

Movie PG-13 2007 88 minutes
Hot Rod Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 13+

A little crass, but Sublime

Rod (main character) is a wonderful role model. He does not let injuries or hormone disorders or even his animosity towards his father get in the way of his goals. They even bring up geographical trivia such as Rodisia! He struggles against extreme odds to save his father's life proving his heart is in the right place. The only scenes I did not approve of was when his friend did acid and hopped on a bench grinder as well as the scene where they play a game of guessing jelly beans by taste alone - i do not want my diabetic son repeating what he has seen, potentially dangerous (the jelly beans, not the acid) As far as language goes, my son likes to repeat the line "i go to church every G*dd**n Sunday, AND YOURE GONNA BRING THE DEMONS OUTTA ME?" which he did repeat at a church luncheon - very innapropreate! Please note that although I have given this film four stars I would more accurately say it is 3.5 stars - I would deduct the half star from an otherwise glowing review because there is one scene where Rod learns Tai-chi explicitly for the reason of making people defecate their pants, which is a very irresponsible way to use martial arts.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 14+

Really funny, doesn't contain much violence other than some comical over-the-top sparring with his step-father and accidental injuries(like "America's Funniest Home Videos").

The main review has spoilers so just reads this if you want to avoid spoilers. Here is an IMDB Parent's guide modified(to remove spoilers when keeping relevant details and with some clarification) with some of my my comments in bold(I also modified it slightly to remove slight spoilers that were present but to still give you a good idea of things). The worst of it is definitely the language. "Violence" In a dream, you see 2 mascots fighting each other, one of them beats the other with a chair until a red liquid that might possibly be blood oozes(the mascots in their costumes look nothing like humans except for the arms and legs sticking out.). The main character's goal is to fight his dad and earn his respect, which he tries several times and fails, but no blood is shown.(To put it into perspective, a movie like one of Lord of he Rings series is like 10 times more violent than this movie and even Star Wars is more violent) There are a lot of temporary injuries while doing stunts, mainly played for laughs. There are a few scenes of vomiting after some crashes.(It is not really "violence" towards anyone in this case but the character wrecking his bike, getting hurt in accidents when trying to do stunts, etc. It is not violence anymore than stubbing your toe or hitting your head is violent. The character really takes a beating while doing some of the stunts but it is in a funny slapstick way rather than people harming each other) "Profanity" 1 "F***" 15 "Sh**" 35 uses total of anatomical terms and milder profanities. This wouldn't be suitable for a five year old but it should be fine for a teen(especially a person in their late teens). The violence isn't bad at all and I don't think it will stick with you in any negative way. You can give it a try and see if the language is more than you are comfortable with(there is a lot of cussing in the first few minutes but it gets better). I find the movie pretty hilarious.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14):
Kids say (32):

If Jackass, Napoleon Dynamite, and the Saturday Night Live viral video "Lazy Sunday" had a love child, HOT ROD would be it, in all its dumb, dirty glory. And like any completely gratifying summer comedy, Hot Rod is far better than the sum of its parts. Somehow Samberg, the co-writer and SNL cast member, manages to soften up the extreme violence of Jackass, capture the doofus anti-hero of Napoleon Dynamite, and liberally apply the nerdy awesomeness of "Lazy Sunday." There's a reason he's an "Interweb" superstar.

There are so many fun references here, from the power ballad while Rod "punch-dances" out his rage at Frank's illness to the synchronized dancing Dave (Bill Hader) and Rico (Danny R. McBride) do in the convenience store parking lot to "Two of Hearts." It's even somewhat smart. Sure, there are overly ironic moments that just get self-referential -- like when Barry Pasternack (fellow SNL cast member Chris Parnell) notes the conveniently tidy sum Rod needs to raise for Frank's surgery -- but there are also many clever moments. When Rod sees the crowd's reaction to his awesome stunts, you can almost see how stars of those YouTube videos must feel when they realize people aren't laughing with them.

Movie Details

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