Hit & Run Reviews
"A Comedy That Never Takes Its Foot Off The Gas"
Hit & Run was somewhat of a surprise to me. When you see a movie that has Dax Shepherd not only in the leading role, but also directing and writing; it's hard to expect anything better than terrible. Surprisingly though, Dax wasn't too bad in front of the camera or behind it. The movie is nothing to get too excited about, but it's also a pretty good amount of fun and it's helped by a pretty good little supporting cast including: Kristen Bell, Tom Arnold, and Bradley Cooper.
Charlie Bronson is under witness protection. Four years ago he testified against his then friends and bank robbers, whom Yul(Charlie's original name) drove the getaway car for. When his girlfriend gets a job offer in his old home town of Los Angeles, Charlie decides to go with her. Anne's former boyfriend begins tailing them and calls up Alex(one of the people Charlie testified against) to let him know that he knows where Yul is. Also on the path of Charlie is a US Marshall who is supposed to be making sure that Charlie is all right.
It would be fair to call Hit & Run just another action comedy, which it basically is; but there's also a rom-com formula at play here too. It's sort of a cross between an action comedy, a road movie, and a romance film. Crossing those genres doesn't really bring out too much originality though, but it does make the film more interesting.
Hit & Run ended up being a fun ride, and in the end, that's all it really needed to do. This isn't a movie that you'll find a lot of purpose in watching, but it is a nice little hour and a half diversion. Also, if you're like me, the only excuse you need for giving this a try is that Bradley Cooper is in it; and with dreads no less.
A lot of the films problems lie on the shoulders of it's two leads, Dax Shepard and Kristin Bell. Shepard (who has been good in a handful of films and especially on TV's "Parenthood") comes of as completely dull and unlikable here. He's a charmless lead, and as both writer/ director, it was unwise for him to salvage all of the best material for Tom Arnold and Bradley Cooper (both really fun to watch here). Kristen Bell (great in "Veronica Mars and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall") completely misses the mark. She turns in one of the most annoying performances I've seen in a while. She's a likable actress who deserves much better than such witless material.
The film's other fatal flaw is Dax Shepard the writer/ director. He clumsily handles both dialogue (self aware to a fault) and the films abysmal action sequences. Why was the film marketed so heavily on the car chase? The automotive scenes in this film are poor, unenergetic time wasters. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to hire the likes of Justin Lin for the second unit; no matter the cost.
The film does have it's minor redeeming qualities (like some funny jokes, visual gags, and Bradley Cooper's hair), but they are few and far between and don't nearly make up for the film's many blunders. "Hit and Run" isn't a good movie, nor a passable piece of entertainment, but for better or worse it does enough to ensure it'll find some following of some kind. Count me out.
Good Movie! "Hit and Run" serves predominantly as a showcase for the comedic style of its creator, actor Dax Shepard. Shepard's filmmaking debut, "Brother's Justice," which he also co-directed with partner David Palmer in 2010, went silently, but here he's convinced his fiancée, Kristen Bell, to co-star and snagged another A-lister in Bradley Cooper to elevate the film's profile. Film has enough action set pieces to hold my attention, enough one-liners to make us laugh our asses off, the classic cars looked good, and a good climactic chase. The nudity in the motel scene was horrific. And horrifically funny.
HIT AND RUN is a comedy about a young couple ('Kristen Bell' and Dax Shepard) that risks it all when they leave their small town life and embark on a road trip that may lead them towards the opportunity of a lifetime. Their fast-paced road trip grows awkwardly complicated and hilarious when they are chased by a friend from the past ('Bradley Cooper' ), a federal marshal ('Tom Arnold' ) and a band of misfits.
Nate's Grade: C+
To be honest, "Hit and Run" should have been called Hit and Miss instead, as it can never quite decide whether it wants to be a comedy, action or romance, with Tom Arnold pretty much responsible for the comic relief.(Say what you will about 70's drive-in flicks but at least they were honest about what they were out to do.) That's not to mention all the lapses in logic or the fact that there would be no movie if Annie did not need her teaching certificate from Gil or if Alex was not on Facebook. While the car chases do not make up for any for of that, one of the three is definitely satisfying. But more would have been nice, considering all of the sweet rides on display.
The story follows an ex-getaway driver flees from determined feds and vicious gangsters after quitting the witness-protection program in order to drive his girlfriend to her new job in Los Angeles. Once upon a time, Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard) was a getaway wheelman for a quick-triggered gang of bank robbers, comprised of unpredictable Alex (Bradley Cooper), smoldering mastermind Neve (Joy Bryant), and their sharp-dressed sidekick (Ryan Hansen). But after being placed in the Witness Protection Program and falling for pretty Annie (Kristen Bell), Charlie's criminal past has faded into the rearview mirror. When Annie lands an interview for her dream job in L.A., Charlie vows that she won't be late, and they hit the road in his custom-built muscle car. Charlie just hopes she doesn't discover the truth of his past.
The plot was predictable and the characters were forgettable, but the jokes weren't half bad. I mean sure its slob and stupid humor but it's so out of its own mind that we can't help but have a few shock laughs. But I really cared about what was happening in the movie and I was just checking my watch to see how much I had left to watch. I mean when you have to give Bradley Cooper dreadlocks than I think we can all agree that something happened behind-the-scenes that they are not telling us. We have the potential to make a good comedy, but the first hour of this film is so boring that it almost had be tired, and then things start happening. Once the story really kicks into gear you are slightly interested, but we all know in the end everything is going to turn out ok so we don't really care what happens next. I wasn't expecting such incredible, but it could've been so much more.
The cast had its ups and down, but in reality it was the highlight of the film. Dax Sheperd is a likeable actor and I can tell in real life he is a down to earth guy and just a fun man, and I liked him for it in this film. Kristen Bell has been one of my least favorite actresses since When in Rome, but I think she had redeemed herself in this film a bit by giving a role that was not annoying and made me actually feel sympathy for her. Bradley Cooper had the best laughs in the film, and although his dreadlocks were pointless I still felt like his moments really brought fun to the screen and I enjoyed him. Beau Bridges really brought some great scenes, and I loved the pain his car went through in the film. A funny cast that saved the film from being a total failure.
Hit & Run seemed like it meant to do well and give the audience some good laughs, but it just didn't end up working for me. I had to turn around when I saw the motel scene where they walk in on a group naked old people... twice. I think some people will see a joy in this comedy that I just didn't understand, but I will admit that I did laugh and it was a decent comedy from a first time director. It has a lot of gross out humor and it really knows how people want to see stupid and violent comedies, but there is a lot you must do to make a comedy film be great. I consider a great comedy to have a silly and interesting story, characters that are actually fun and interesting, and jokes that just stick in our minds because they have such a silly way of presenting it. If you love violence, naked old people, and Bradley Cooper in dreadlocks than you will have a better time than I did at this movie.
All told, this is one strange film. It's not anywhere near as funny as it wants to be, but it has an infectious spirit to it. Dax Shepard and David Palmer throw in the kitchen sink here in an attempt to see what sticks. We've got Tarantino-esque moments where characters stop the action to thoroughly dissect prison rape. We have a quirky gay subplot involving a GRINDR-like app and a hilariously high-string, completely undone Tom Arnold. Sheperd and real-life girlfriend, Kristen Bell, have some pretty good Apatow-like chemistry. There are the requisite oddball cameos by the likes of Kristin Chenowith, Beau Bridges, and Sean Hayes.
While the laughs rarely landed, when they did, they had an outrageous and surprising quality. It was enough to give me a goofy grin throughout. Bonus points for the oft-repeated motif of muscle cars doing donuts and peeling off.
In this R-rated action comedy, a former getaway driver (Shepard) jeopardizes his Witness Protection identity to safely deliver his girlfriend (Bell) to LA with some old bank-robbing cronies (Bradley Cooper, et al) in pursuit.
Kristen Bell is lovely and on-the-mark. Her co-stars, however, are scraggly and sadly miscast. This is Dax Shepard's baby and, by putting himself in the fray as star and director as well as writer, he's given this movie the equivalent of shaken baby syndrome. Never mind the fact his perpetual doofus shtick along with A-list co-star Bradley Cooper prove about as badass as Joe Besser playing 3rd fiddle in the 3 Stooges--this '70s chase throwback needed some serious rewrites before hitting the screen. Namely, it needed to be re-written with witty dialogue and re-cast with stars capable of running and gunning with a Grindhouse-riffing chase flick rather than just spinning its wheels.
Bottom line: Formula Ugh.