Dir. by Dax Shepard and David Palmer - 1 hr. 40 min.
Official Red Band Trailer
by Clayton Hollifield
So, if you had the opportunity to make a film that you wrote, directed, and starred in, and got to cast your (beautiful actress) girlfriend as your love interest, and have the main bad guy wear a bizarre set of dreadlocks, you'd probably go for it, right? Also, let me include a parade of pretty sweet cars. And also included in this deal are some pretty funny character actors to round things out. That's a movie I'd make, at least. And Dax Shepard managed to make all of this happen, which sounds like a pretty sweet deal for him.
The results aren't bad, either. Shepard stars as Charlie Bronson, who is in the Witness Protection Program, has been dating Annie Bean (Kristen Bell), a motormouth college professor, for a year. They live in the boonies of California, and Charlie is being protected by a borderline inept Federal Agent Randy Anderson (Tom Arnold). When Annie gets a job offer that is ridiculously tailored to her skills, it comes with the caveat that it's at a university in Los Angeles, which happens to be the city that Charlie has fled. And from there, hilarity ensues.
First off, there's a lot of funny dialogue in this film. It's not really a slapsticky comedy, although you might be forgiven for expecting a little bit of that. One of the appealing things in "Hit and Run" is watching a real-life couple chirp at each other good-naturedly (mostly). Both Shepard and Bell are pretty funny, and their hyper-speed psychobabble exchanges are good. One important thing here: every character believes they're right about whatever they're doing. Tom Arnold's character might be constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but he's trying really hard. Bradley Cooper's character (the dread-locked Alex Dmitri) might be overreacting, but then again, all things considered, he might not be. And even Charlie sees Alex's point after he drops a bombshell on him late in the film.
So while there isn't a ton in "Hit and Run" that's brand new (unless you really want to see a real lemon party on the big screen - that's in the trailer, so it's not much of a spoiler), it seems like the people involved had a good time, had good reason to have a good time, and the film itself is a good time. And it's also got a pretty decent soundtrack, which is worth mentioning. You probably already know whether or not you want to go see a film starring Dax Shepard (and his fingerprints are all over every aspect of this film). I did, and wasn't let down.
3 / 5 - Theatre