When I first saw the trailer for this film, I nearly laughed out loud at how bad it looked. Maybe it was just Bradley Cooper with his blonde dreadlocks, or possibly the aggressively generic title, but I just assumed this movie would turn out to be some kind of terrible, grotesque comedy that isn’t at all worth my time. It was only after reading an interview with the film’s writer/director/star Dax Shepard that I decided it was worth checking out. While I don’t personally love this movie, Shepard is able to produce a very interesting and well-crafted film, and more importantly, a film that lets the audience know who he is both personally and as a film maker.
Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard, referencing notorious criminal Charles Bronson) has a great life. Having entering witness protection after testifying against an old friend for a crime they committed together, Charlie meets Annie (Kristen Bell) and has fallen madly in love with her. However, when Annie goes to a job interview in LA, the very place Charlie is no longer allowed to set foot in, Charlie throws caution to the wind and runs off with her, much to the dismay of her ex-boyfriend and the bumbling federal marshal in charge of Charlie’s safety.
The highlight of this film is clearly Shepard, who successfully proves he can rise above his usual roles as a character actor, as he effectively carries this movie on his back. Other than that and Bradley Cooper’s small role, I found the acting to be a little awkward and timid, not the kind of characteristics you are looking for in a comedy. The script was well written and without a doubt funny, but I’m afraid there were solid comedic moments the audience would only be able to enjoy if better actors were involved.
In addition to acting, writing and directing, Shepard also made the most of his fairly limited budget with the car chase scenes, and even did a fair amount of the stunt driving. Most of the driving stunts are electrical and innovative, but there is not nearly enough to warrant a title like Hit and Run. This is not really a movie about stunt driving or comedy though, but rather an interesting take on the relationship comedy, as it touches on a wide variety of relationships, romantic and otherwise.
I am just going to go ahead and recommend this movie for those of you who haven’t heard of it or haven’t seen it. As I mentioned before I didn’t exactly love it, but the response this film has gotten is either very positive or extremely negative. For a film such as this, I cannot encourage or discourage you from seeing it based on my own experience, but if it sounds like something you would be interested in, it may be worth checking out. Especially if you like Dax Shepard, as this movie seems to solely belong to him.
Rating: 3 out of 5