Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hit and Run (2012) - Movie Review

Writer, co-director, and lead actor Dax Shepard has put together an entertaining road trip comedy that is full of high speed chases and outrageous moments. Theaters would be wise to install seat belts in every auditorium this movie is showing as audiences will have a hard time containing themselves from jumping out of their seats from excitement or falling out of them from laughing so hard.

"Hit and Run" begins with a young couple in a small town named Charlie (Shepard) and Annie (Kristen Bell) who are in a relationship that is about to face some extreme adversity. Annie has just been given the opportunity to interview for her dream job in Los Angeles, but she is reluctant to go for it given the fact that Charlie moved out of the big city as part of the federal witness protection program.

Charlie decides he is going to risk everything by taking her to the interview to avoid losing her altogether, but this also means he will have to reveal to her exactly why he has been hiding out. What comes next is a non-stop chase involving federal marshals, crazy exes, bank robbers, and a custom built 1967 Lincoln that leaves everything else in the dust.

There really is a lot to like about this movie, but what really stands out is how the independent spirit that went in to making the movie also comes across on the screen. I already mentioned the multiple titles that come after Shepard's name in the credits, but he also drove his own vehicles (The Lincoln and a 700 HP Baja buggy) in the movie and did all his own driving stunts. You can tell he is a fan of movies like "Smokey and the Bandit" which has a very similar style and feel to it.

The story isn't perfect by any means, but its very clear that the point of the whole thing is just to get everyone out on the road where the movie is at its best. Aside from the previous comparisons, you could also throw out names like "Cannonball Run" or "Dukes of Hazard" as fair comparisons. None of these movies were ever known as critical darlings and "Hit and Run" will definitely follow suit. Even with a great cast filled with names like Bradley Cooper and Tom Arnold, this movie will still find its way in to B-Movie/Grindhouse territory.

What works best about the movie is the interaction between Shepard and Bell. Their characters are very well written in a story that is overall lacking in that department and the performances they give are what turns out to be the heart and soul of the picture. Basically, "Hit and Run" is an entertaining car chase movie that will have you laughing at some truly hilarious moments, but may not stick with you for very long after the credits begin to roll.

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