Dax Shephard’s shoot-‘em-up directorial debut
Dax Shepard’s SRemember that episode of the Ellen Show where Kristen Bell shares a home video that her boyfriend, Dax Shepard, took of her freaking the fuck out because she really, really likes sloths and he brought a sloth to her birthday party?
Hit and Run—written and co-directed by Shepard, and starring the lovely couple—is kind of like that home video:
weird and confusing, but overwhelmingly adorable.
And somehow there’s an endangered species involved.
In the case of Hit and Run, a customized, vintage beaut of a muscle car takes the place of a sleepy tree-hugger, as the action-comedy (actiomedy?) revolves around high-speed chases, shoot-‘em-up play and a bad guy past that chases Bell and Shepard to the 100-minute mark. Annie (Bell) and Charlie (Shepard) are madly in love and live next to a vineyard in a non-descript southern California town. Annie’s offered the job opportunity of a lifetime as the head of a non-violent conflict resolution program in Los Angeles. This should be a great thing for her, but Charlie can’t leave their dusty abode—he’s in witness protection and LA is home to the mess that forced him to give up his identity in the first place.
Stubborn and keen on wiping the mopey look off Annie’s face, Charlie rolls his ’67 650 HP Lincoln out of the garage, proudly announcing that he’s going to escort her to the job interview in LA. Before hitting the road, Annie swings by the house of her dick ex-boyfriend Gil (Michael Rosenbaum) to pick up a necessary document for the interview. Gil looks up Charlie’s license plate, and after a quick Google search finds out that Charlie was involved in a bank robbery, and that he’s in witness protection because he ratted out his best friend and accomplice, Alex (Bradley Cooper). Gil, psychotically, gets in touch with Alex, tells him that Charlie’s driving Annie to LA, and all hell breaks loose as Alex hunts Charlie down and Gil speeds after them in some insane attempt to get rid of Annie’s boyfriend while simultaneously winning her back.
As frenetic as it sounds, Hit and Run is an exhausting yet enjoyable endeavor to behold.
Shepard handles both his comedic delivery and the stunts in the Lincoln with ease, and the chemistry between him and Bell translates to the big screen in a way that’s just as awkward and comfortably likeable as their relationship is in real life. Cooper in dreadlocks that’d make Jonathan Davis wince is something to see, and Tom Arnold as the oaf-y U.S. Marshall barreling after Charlie in an attempt to keep him from blowing his cover is downright LOL-worthy.
In short: Hit and Run may batter you with loud noises, a high-strung Kristen Bell and a symphony of shrieking tires, but it’s one of those movies you leave loving without knowing exactly why.
Kind of like a YouTube clip of an actress having an emotional orgasm over a sloth.
HIT AND RUN
RATED | R
OPENS | 8.22.12