Release Date: August 22,2012
Genre(s): Comedy, Crime, Romance, Action
Cast: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Kristin Chenoweth, Tom Arnold, Bradley Cooper
Director: David Palmer, Dax Shepard
Writer(s): Dax Shepard
Running Time: 100 minutes
Synopsis: Former getaway driver, Charlie, lives peacefully in a small town with his teacher girlfriend, Annie, within the safe perimeters of the Witness Protection Program. But when Annie’s newly available dream job requires her to move to Los Angeles, Charlie refuses to let her go it alone—even if it means running into his old partners in crime that he testified against.
Shepard and Bell make a hilariously cute couple; their chemistry is great here.
This is probably the first non-geeky film I’ve reviewed, but it’s still a film damn it—and a pretty good one at that. Hit & Run is one of those films that could very easily slip under your radar, despite how frequent the TV spots are. The scope of the film is very small—as with most indie films—but the action-packed and comedic moments are big. This is the first film to make me laugh out loud(or “LOL” for you hip kids) repeatedly so far this year. The story is very basic, as with most comedies(or action movies, for that matter), but that doesn’t mean the writing itself is generic—Dax Shepard did a great job on the script. The jokes go from smart to juvenile and back again, and the dialogue is witty and snarky, yet believable unlike the marginally talented but incredibly overrated Diablo Cody, who is a big contender on the “Indie Goes Hollywood” scene.
With all the car stunts, this film is like a funnier, well written version of ‘The Fast and the Furious’.
One thing the commercials and trailers for Hit & Run really downplay is the amount of action—which is plentiful and mostly comprised of car chases. I don’t know much about cars(unless they travel through time or happen to be voiced by Mr. Feeny), so I can’t name all the awesome cars used in the film, but I can tell you that the stunt work is very impressive and beautifully shot. Perhaps even more impressive is that Dax Shepard did a lot of the stunt driving himself; the dude is truly a jack-of-all-trades with driving, starring, writing, editing, and co-directing this film. Beyond the burnouts and chase sequences, there are a few shootouts and fistfights but the film relies more on it’s charming characters and clever dialogue, than brute force. The flow of the film has a kind of late 80′s, early 90′s old school action comedy vibe, like The Getaway or Midnight Run. If you know what I’m talking about, you’ll most likely appreciate this film more than others.
Tom Arnold’s character, as usual, is the pathetic comedy relief. I guess that’s what you have to deal with when you decide to marry Roseanne Barr.
The cast is a major highlight of this film, with Shepard recruiting his real-life fiancee, Kristen Bell, and a few other very capable actors including Kristin Chenoweth, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rosenbaum, Joy Bryant, David Koechner, Beau Bridges, and even a cameo from Jason Bateman. The entire cast did a fantastic job, and their delivery was all spot-on. Tom Arnold, though clearly typecast in his standard role of “bumbling government employee”, surprisingly managed to squeeze some of the biggest laughs from the audience; his introduction in the film(seen above) gives new meaning to the term “ghost ridin’ the whip”. Michael Rosenbaum surprised the hell out of me too—I had no idea it was him until the end credits. I guess having a full head of hair does make a difference. Regardless, he did a shockingly great job portraying an obsessed, douchey ex-boyfriend.
This should be the first and LAST time Bradley Cooper has dreadlocks, even if they are fake.
I can only say how funny this film is so many times. If you like good, raunchy laughs and decent action all delivered by a great cast, then Hit & Run is a sure bet. Admittedly, this film is somewhat refreshing compared to all the other big Hollywood releases(most big-budget comedies of recent memory don’t really stack up to this) trickling out of the proverbial pipe. When you’re deciding what to see this upcoming weekend, don’t overlook Hit & Run—I guarantee it won’t be the worst choice at your local cineplex. That is, unless full frontal male nudity makes you squeamish. But I think floppy, wrinkly cocks make us all a bit uncomfortable.