Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hit and Run: Movie Review


A guy's movie for girls with good action, comedy and romance.
"Hit and Run" is an action, comedy, romance, and for the first time in a long time, that's exactly what it is, and in three equal parts. The romance pits Charlie (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Kristen Bell) as a small town couple in love. She's up for her dream job in Los Angeles. The action starts when Charlie drives her to LA in his home-built classic car wtih an engine that all hillbillies desire. 2012

Directed by: David Palmer, and Dax Shepard

Screenplay by: Dax Shepard

Starring: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper and Tom Arnold

Tom Arnold and Jess Rowland in HIT AND RUN. Credit: Jeffrey Reed.
Annie isn't entirely aware of his past, but he's in the Witness Protection program and LA is where he can't go back to. Annie's hot-headed ex-boyfriend follows them and sends Charlie's criminal, revenge-driven, former associates on their tail.They are all trying to drive faster than the car in front of them, regardless if it sends them into trees or ditches.

The comedy is pretty much only when Tom Arnold is on the screen. An early scene of the movie has Randy (Arnold) talking on a cell phone when Annie passes him on the road. His nervousness causes him to spill his coffee on his pants. This of course sends his mini-van down the road without him in it. So the obvious solution is to run after, flailing a gun and shooting in its general direction. But it's okay, he took extensive training and has a license to do that.

Bradley Cooper, Joy Bryant and Ryan Hansen in HIT AND RUN.
Photo by Jeffrey Reed© Outrun the Movie, LLC 2012.
Randy is a U.S. Marshall in charge of protecting Charlie but he's always behind on the action. Which is exactly where the butt of the joke always should be to keep it funny. He steals pretty much every scene he's in. Charlie's former associate, and the man who wants to kill him, is Alex Dmitri (Bradley Cooper). He's a deranged maniac who goes off on the quality of dog food but is more like a wanna-be hippie with severe rage issues. The character is probably supposed to by funny, but misses the mark.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard in HIT AND RUN.
Alliance Films, Credit: Jeffrey Reed.
The character of Annie isn't as well developed as Charlie and some of his compatriots, so we don't always care about their relationship. She frequently just wants to run away for safety, which is what anybody would want to do, and sometimes we wish she would get away. She was given an interesting educational background - in non-violent conflict mediation - which served a few jokes but probably even more if written better.

I quite enjoyed the car chases and the various taggers-along trying to get in on the action. With the classic cars, flashy cars and unique cars (most from Dax Shepard's personal collection), I would have thought of this as a guy's movie, but the surprisingly low ratings suggest otherwise. Perhaps it's a guy's movie for girls, but I'm not sure if that gives it enough credit.