I went into Hit and Run with an open mind. I’m not a huge fan of Dax Shepard’s work and find him to be a bit of a hack. On the other hand, seeing Bradley Cooper with dreadlocks and having cute-as-a-button actress Kristen Bell co-star, appealed to me. And while I did laugh at parts and mostly enjoyed the movie, there’s just enough wrong with it to not recommend seeing it in the theatre.
Charlie Bronson (Shepard, who also wrote and co-directed the film) is in the witness protection program for ratting out the crew he used to rob banks with. He now lives in a small town with his girlfriend Annie (Bell) and doesn’t do much besides meet with the U.S. Marshal assigned to protect him (Tom Arnold). When Annie gets offered a job in Los Angeles, Charlie decides to leave the program in order to relocate with her. Once on the road his old crew is tipped off about his whereabouts and soon Charlie and Annie are on a race for their lives.
The good in Hit and Run comes from the chemistry between real-life couple Shepard and Bell. They play off each other wonderfully and have perfect comedic timing together (I actually started liking Shepard more because of how he acted in scenes with her). If the movie was just them in a room talking it would have been a much more entertaining experience. Other than them, the soundtrack was decent and Jess Rowland, who plays a homesexual cop, stole every scene he was in and is definitely someone to keep an eye on.
Sadly, the other elements injected into the film brought it down a few too many notches. Cooper, who plays one of the bad guys out for Charlie and Annie, felt very miscast and the gag of him in dreads wore thin quickly. Same goes for Tom Arnold’s clumsy cop routine, which just made me feel sorry for him by the end. The biggest downfall though were the car chases. They were boring and pointless and lacked the excitement that makes a car chase scene fun to watch. If you’re not going to do it well, why bother?
I’m sure Hit and Run will be a much better watch when it lands on DVD later this year. Where it stands now though it’s definitely not worth running out to see in the theatre.
Cast: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold
Directed by: Dax Shepard, David Palmer
Top image: A scene from Hit and Run. Courtesy Alliance Films.