Hit and Run
Car chases and smart dialogue are what Hit and Run is about, and many movies have been built on less. The difference here is that this hybrid of road movie, quirky romance, revenge thriller and offbeat comedy thinks it’s a lot smarter than it actually is.
Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are Charlie and Annie, a young couple headed to LA so that she can pursue her career in teaching. Now, forget that. Because the movie is really about – deep breath – Charlie who is in witness protection after he ratted on his pals who robbed banks and now they’re on his tail after his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend discovered his true identity and grassed him up to the bad guys.
Got that? Good.
Hit and Run is a vehicle – literally, given the size and sound of Charlie’s custom-built car – for Dax Shepard who writes, co-directs and stars. An amalgam of Owen Wilson and Brad Pitt he’s an unusual on-screen presence whose kookiness and fondness for repeating lines (“I need you to stop the car.” “You need me to stop the car?”) becomes a tad irksome.
In fact the film is nothing more than a succession of philosophising conversations punctuated by tyre-burning pursuit across open country. Criminally star-of-the-moment Bradley (The Hangover) Cooper pops up as Charlie’s nemesis but only after 45 minutes of Shepard.
What’s more he’s camouflaged beneath dreadlocks. Go figure.
Tom Arnold drifts through the plot as a calamity-ridden marshal and there is a tasty cameo from Beau Bridges as Charlie’s estranged dad. But mainly Hit and Run is about noisy cars – a cut-price demolition derby with a star at its heart who longs to play with the big boys.