If you're looking for plausibility, this is not your movie. If you're looking for laughs, this is not your movie. If you like seeing delusional overgrown adolescents fall down a lot, then this one's for you.
A perfect storm of absurdist sight gags and sketch-comedy consciousness. Somewhere in there is the wobbly shape of a story, which Schaffer and company stretch to its limits without entirely losing the movie's cartoonish premise.
A lasting problem with so many SNL-populated movies is the ingrown clubbiness of its humor -- the suggestion, whether overt or implied, that comedy is nothing more than a funny idea flogged to death by a fraternity of late-night wags.
It's funny pretty much all the way through, even in the final showdown between Rod and his stepdad. I have seen countless movie fights that stagger the imagination, but this one goes over the top and comes down on the other side.
Hot Rod is a fresh, hip take on the Bumbling Idiot genre that made Will Ferrell a superstar, and Samberg throws himself into the role with an amiable mix of birthday-entertainer goofiness and klutzy bravado.
Samberg's penchant for subversively silly asides certainly hints that he's capable of being more than a Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler clone. Now he just needs to find a film that won't fall apart around him.