Charlie Bronson (writer, producer, and co-director Dax Shepard) is living a nice, normal life with his nice, normal girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell) after a sordid past which landed him in the Witness Protection Program. This new happy existence is threatened when Annie is offered a dream job 500 miles away in Los Angeles, the location of Charlie’s said sordid past.
Charlie decides to risk everything and drive Annie to the interview. Of course, things do not go as planned as Randy, the klutzy federal agent assigned to protect Charlie (Tom Arnold), Annie’s jealous ex-boyfriend Gil (Michael Rosenbaum), and a psychopath from Charlie’s past (an unrecognizable Bradley Cooper) are soon hot on the couple’s trail.
“Seriously man, what is up with your hair?”
I have to raise a glass to Dax Shepard for getting this movie made, convincing his friends to star in it for virtually no money, and doing all his own stunt driving (of his own personal cars, no less). It was an ambitious pet project that probably wouldn’t have gotten made otherwise and you have to respect Shepard for bringing his vision to fruition.
Shepard’s chemistry with real-life fiancée Kristen Bell is fun to watch. Unlike several other attempts of off-screen couples co-starring onscreen (Gigli anyone?), they complement each other and the pairing works.
If you search “annoyingly adorable” in Google images, this photo is the first result.
The supporting cast is game and it’s one of those movies that you can tell everyone had a good time making, which shouldn’t be a surprise since they’re all friends. There are a couple great unexpected cameos at the end which I suspect were specifically written for the actors involved.
Fans of cars and chase scenes will not be disappointed as there are many, many action scenes of cars screeching, tailing, and doing doughnuts. So fear not, lady that sued Drive ! Shepard is a self-proclaimed car fanatic and it’s very evident in this film.
Lots of car porn
Finally, it’s a different feeling movie. That’s a little vague but if you see it, you’ll know what I mean. From the way it looks, to the music, to the dialogue, it’s very stylized. I can best describe it as Tarantino-lite. It doesn’t always work, but it’s an attempt at something different (or at least, something different that someone else has already done).
Before the film, I was excited because I purchased one of those half-off deals for a new restaurant in the same town as the theater. The plan was to have dinner there and then check out the movie. When we arrived at the restaurant it was closed (guess it’s more of a lunch place) so we settled on the local Ruby Tuesday’s instead and got chips and guacamole. They were fine, but I was really looking forward to trying out that new restaurant.
Please, come back! I have a point here.
Similarly, I was really looking forward to Hit and Run as I’m a fan of nearly everyone involved and it looked like an entertaining cat and mouse thrill ride (I am one of the few that enjoyed The Chase). But the film was a lot like that guacamole. Okay I guess, but not what I was hoping for and an overall disappointment.
And it had kind of a funny taste.
It’s one of those movies that’s more fitting for straight-to-DVD than a wide theatrical release. You know, like when you’re looking through the new releases on Redbox and say “Hey, I didn’t know so-and-so made this movie.” So you rent it and while watching it realize why you’ve never heard of it.
Hit and Run’s main problem is that it never quite finds its footing and the tone changes from scene to scene. It goes from “Aw, look how sweet this couple is” to “Oh that silly Tom Arnold,” to “HOLY SHIT, THAT GUY JUST GOT HIS FACE BASHED IN!” There’s some humor, but most of it falls flat (more on that in a bit) and none of the characters seem believable. It’s really just all a set-up for the countless fancy car stunts. Speaking of those stunts, the shaky-camerawork and quick cuts combined with the loud, squealing cars were headache-inducing.
Without getting spoilery, there were many instances during Hit and Run that I kept wondering why things were happening because, how could the characters involved be so damn stupid?
I mean, if you were in the Witness Protection Program, would you take a 500 mile road trip in a flashy classic car that not only stands out but that has an expired registration in your real name? Why not just rent a car? Or fly for that matter?
Or ladies, would you get into a serious relationship with some random unemployed dude who kind of looks like the guy from Nickelback that you know is in the Witness Protection Program but that you don’t know the specific details about the circumstances? Or what the guy’s real name even is?
And how would the accident-prone bumbling idiot played by Tom Arnold even get a job as a federal agent in the first place?
The audience for this film needs a whole lot of suspension of disbelief as there are several such examples of general dumbassery going on here. Also, much of the plot is built on contrivance. Everyone just always seems to be right there when needed.
Hit and Run is described as an “action-comedy” and while there’s no doubt a ton of action, the comedy part of that title is reduced to lazy stereotypical jokes. Race, prison rape, homophobia, elderly group sex– it’s all there. None of it is new or clever. Or funny.
Old naked people are hilarious! Because they’re wrinkly and gross lol!
I really wanted to like this one, but it was a jumbled mess. I’m guessing its time in theaters is going to be a lot like an actual hit and run.
To your left! The clearance bin is to your left!
Take a Drink: whenever Randy does something incredibly klutzy that could result in someone’s death.
Take a Drink: every time a car does a doughnut.
Take a Drink: Car porn!
Take a Drink: whenever Kristin Chenoweth mentions Xanax.
Take a Shot: whenever you wish you had some. (it’s the next best thing)