Hit & Run: "Whatever Happens Today, Is Exactly What Is Supposed To Happen"

Director: David Palmer
               Dax Shepard 
Writer:    Dax Shepard
Starring: Kristen Bell
               Dax Shepard
               Kristin Chenoweth
               Tom Arnold
               Bradley Cooper
               Ryan Hansen
               Joy Bryant
               Beau Bridges
               Michael Rosenbaum
               Sean Hayes
Rating:    ***

Release Date: 12/10/12

Hit & Run has the feel of an old classic, car chase B-movie that is clearly influenced by those types of movies, and Dax Shepard and David Palmer's have directed it with a surprisingly sweet vibe. The laidback chemistry between Shepard and co-star Kristen Bell (also his wife in reality) is what really carries this film, and both actors are in fine form. Its high energy but low-stakes action might be just the thing for moviegoers who are on a comedown from their cinemas action packed summer.
Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard
Shepard plays Charlie Bronson, an L.A. bank robber who, after his partners killed a security guard, testified against them and was hidden in a small town in California. Bronson's sensitive despite his 'career', and showers new girlfriend Annie (Bell) with daily compliments and selfless love. Still, he hasn't told her how he came to be in the witness-protection program, letting her believe he's always been the delightful  charmer he is today.

It's when Annie gets a job offer she can't refuse in L.A., that Charlie has to decide whether to risk going home (which of course he does); breaking out the pimped out car he drove in his bad-boy days to take her downstate. Unfortunately the vintage ride, known for its usual bad boy drivers, not only brings out hints at Charlie's old self, cue an amusing debate over acceptable usage of the word "fag", but is a huge clue allowing Annie's old boyfriend Gil (Rosenbaum) to figure out Charlie's identity. So in a jealous and split second decision he decides to try and break them up, how? by contacting his revenge-minded old gang.

Bradley Cooper
What follows is an old-fashioned cross-country pursuit in which the previously mentioned characters are joined by the marshal (Arnold), responsible for Charlie's welfare, and a pair of highway patrol officers. It's a fairly entertaining ride, though the filmmakers push some gags close to the breaking point. For instance, Arnold's accident-prone cop, who can barely touch his gun without shooting innocent bystanders, is too clumsy, and his 'gag' is soon dull. 

Bradley Cooper, as the ringleader of Charlie's old gang, was a little over the top for me; I'm not surewhat it was, it just didnt add up. Dreadlocked and wearing yellow-tinted shades, he's a white boy trying his hardest to pull off a ghetto attitude and constantly drops in and out of his Southern drawl. The performance is the most distracting, out of all the performances, which is kind of a let down. What wasn't a let down was the brilliant Kristin Chenoweth, as Annie's pill popping old boss. It's almost like Ms. Chenoweth is being typecast now, but she does it so well, that I cannot get enough.

Kristin Chenoweth
The most important part of Hit & Run, and what was so special, was the fact that this feels completely unlike any other runaway couple movie around. Shepard is as likable as ever, believably pairing gentleness with a criminal attitude; and Bell doesn't take Annie's unease at Charlie's past so far that we hold it against her and get irritated. The absolute highlight for me though was Beau Bridges as Charlie's estranged dad; his performance in the supporting cast was an absolute standout, requiring just a few minutes of screen time to lend some real emotional depth to the hero's backstory. It's a clear sign of Bridge's acting ability, and Shepard's talent as a writer.

Hit & Run - Trailer