Review this movie
Aug 25, 2012It's essential that you like Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell before you even consider seeing this film. If you do, and if you keep your expectations at a modest level, it's actually pretty fun. There's just not much to it. Tom Arnold really steals the show, as he does with most movies he's in (see: True Lies).
Jan 11, 2013While the story is much better and more interesting than I thought it would be going in, the movie is still a comedy at it's heart, not a romantic comedy or action movie. Being a comedy movie, I woud've hoped for more humor. Honestly, take Tom Arnold out of the movie and it's not funny at all. The acting was solid, the car chase scenes were entertaining, and the romantic comedy element wasWhile the story is much better and more interesting than I thought it would be going in, the movie is still a comedy at it's heart, not a romantic comedy or action movie. Being a comedy movie, I woud've hoped for more humor. Honestly, take Tom Arnold out of the movie and it's not funny at all. The acting was solid, the car chase scenes were entertaining, and the romantic comedy element was well played. But bottom line, a comedy has to be funny and the laughs were too few and far between in this movie for me to rate it any higher.… Expand
Jan 25, 2013Dax Shepard, who serves as co-director, one of the several producers, writer, and star of Hit and Run, appears to be heading in the right direction for actors-turned-directors with his off-kilter debut film. It would seem that all Shepard wanted to do was knock this little project off his bucket list, and round up several recognizable leads and just have a good time making what seemed toDax Shepard, who serves as co-director, one of the several producers, writer, and star of Hit and Run, appears to be heading in the right direction for actors-turned-directors with his off-kilter debut film. It would seem that all Shepard wanted to do was knock this little project off his bucket list, and round up several recognizable leads and just have a good time making what seemed to be a good film. It certainly isn't a bad film, interesting is more like it, and Shepard's sophistication behind the camera and on-camera is likable enough to warrant a small, controlled recommendation if anything.
The story we're given is loose and all over the place, with Shepard assuming the lead character role as "Charlie Bronson," a former criminal getaway driver who now has settled down with his girlfriend, Annie (Kristen Bell, Shepard's real life girlfriend) in a small town. He is constantly being watched by the inept U.S. Marshall Randy (Tom Arnold), and is constantly reminded of his old job and how he has let many of his old friends down to make life better for himself. When Annie gets the call that she scored a job in L.A., Charlie agrees to drop everything and take her there, even though she feels that she'd rather stay in their current home rather than leave him. Charlie believes that this is a grand opportunity for her and talks her into accepting the job.
Along the way, Charlie and Annie are pursued by Annie's obsessive ex Gil (Michael Rosenbaum), who has some dirt on this "Charlie" character he desperately wants to expose and Alex (Bradley Cooper), one of Charlie's old crew-members who he claims was shafted and thrown to the side so that he could make his life better for himself. All of this is happening under Randy's watch, who is supposed to be helping protect Charlie and Annie, but can not seem to get his gun and sexual orientation under control long enough to formulate a plan of action.
There have been far more coherent and plot-based films than this, but for the most part, that's not my true problem with Hit and Run, if I had one. The main issue I take is the comedy in here, which feels forced and taken from the notebook of a twelve-year-old obsessed with fat, nude swingers and sequences possessing an unnecessary mean-spirit. Consider the scene when we are first introduced to Bradley Cooper's Alex and his girlfriend, in a store buying some items when a large, ominous black man appears with a bag of cheap dog food for his dog that is waiting out front. Alex confronts him about buying cheap dog food, about it's extremely unhealthy for the pet and that a few bucks more on quality dog food isn't hurting anyone. The man responds by saying, "he's lucky I feed him anything at all." Alex and his girlfriend leave the store and in a short time, so does the ominous man who find his dog off his leash, staring at him. Before he can question, Alex wraps the dog's leash around neck, drags him across the sidewalk as his exposed flesh from his wife-beater scrapes the rough concrete sidewalk, and finally force-feeds him the dog food admitting it's terrible. Had this man been a dog abuser, this scene would've worked so much better and would've held a good level of satisfaction for not only the Alex character but for the audience (especially myself, who faithful readers know, I consistently question and condemn animal cruelty in almost every film). But that's not what we have here.
The whole scene reminded me of Super, a film that went on to be marginally forgotten, starring The Office's Rainn Wilson as a depressed, mentally ill man who went around town in a tight leotard acting a superhero fighting crime by punishing random acts of disobedience that went unnoticed by the corrupt law enforcement. This was all for comic effect, of course, but when I saw a man have his head beaten in by a wrench for cutting in line at a movie theater I winced and never truly recovered. That's a punishment fit for surviving mass-murderers of pedophiles. Not the insubordinate public.
Hit and Run, however, works well as an action romantic-comedy, an eclectic genre of film that is clearly not overflowing with masterworks, and one could credit Shepard for merging the stereotypical "guy movie," complete with car chases and slick setups with the "chick flick" simplification of romance and love. There's something here for everyone, good or not, and while I can not say Hit and Run struck a strong note with me, it successfully maintained my interest and furthers my optimism for Shepard in coming years.
Starring: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Kristin Chenoweth, Tom Arnold, and Bradley Cooper. Directed by: David Palmer and Dax Shepard.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
It's a rom-com, it's a road movie, it's "Cars" without the animation, it's "A History of Violence" played for yuks. It's all that and less because, really, Hit & Run is awfully hit & miss.
Hit and Run works less as a film and more as a likable, semi-documentary romp among friends. The illusion of the drama may be gone, but it's been replaced by something more authentic and adorable. And we might be okay with that.