Hit and Run. Written, directed by, and starring Dax Shepard, Hit and Run is like the movie Drive if it were a Comedy Central direct-to-TV movie. It’s awkward and sometimes funny and sometimes action-packed and you can’t really put your finger on what is happening. Most of the time, it works.
The gist. Dax Shepard stars as “Charlie Bronson” who is in the witness relocation program but attempts to return to Los Angeles (the scene of the crime) when his girlfriend, played by Kristen Bell, has an interview for the job she’s always wanted. Well, angry ex-boyfriend Gil (played by Smallville’s Michael Rosenbaum) tips off the other parties from Bronson’s old capers and soon, they’re being hunted down by a trio of angry bank robbers (including Bradley Cooper with dreads) who have a huge chip on their collective shoulders. Also in the equation is Bronson’s US Marshall protector played by Tom Arnold, who constantly brings a lighter tone to the movie.
Overall, the movie was refreshingly unpredictable. It kind of reminded me of a Coen Brothers movie, that you never really know what’s going to happen next. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell had great chemistry (they’re engaged in real life) and Bradley Cooper was entertaining as … well, you’ll have to see. His character is complicated. Or maybe psychotic would be the best word.
And while this isn’t really an action movie (or chase movie for that fact), there are some really cool chase scenes that utilize cool slow-motion and driver-oriented mounted cameras. The entire movie was entertaining, which is more than I can say for a lot of films that hit cinemas. And while this is Shepard’s first big picture as writer/director, I definitely felt major potential.
What doesn’t work?
Yes, there are car chases. And yes, there are gun fights. And then there’s Hangover-style gags and bits, mixed with Tarantino-style dialogue about the scenarios in the movie. While these elements all work on their own, it can be a little clashing together. An amazing slow motion chase is mixed with strange music and I’m not sure if I should be laughing or in awe of the cool shots. Maybe that was Shepard’s intention? For some of you, the genre-bending can be a deterrent, but for the most part I enjoyed it.
Overall… I thought Hit and Run was refreshing, though I was often confused how I should be reacting to the movie. I went in with zero expectations and I left pleasantly surprised. The movie flew relatively under the radar, so I’m curious to hear what others thought of it! Is Dax Shepard on his way to greatness or was this a major flop in your book? For me, I was impressed.