Movie Review: Hit and Run

Welcome to Ashley’s Kristen Bell Fangirl Blog! It’s been a little while since there’s been any Kbell worthy news to report and Ashley’s been itching to get her Kbell fix, so thankfully this past weekend Hit and Run opened in theatres and she had the chance to fulfill her monthly Kbell quota.

Written and co-directed by Kbell’s real-life partner, Dax Shepard, Hit and Run is a romantic action comedy flick about a former getaway driver Charlie Bronson (Shepard) who leaves the safety of his witness protection identity behind in order to drive his girlfriend Annie (Bell) to Los Angeles for her dream job interview. The road trip, of course, turns into a chaotic car chase as they are tailed by his vengeful former gang (Bradley Cooper, Ryan Hansen and Joy Bryant), her over protective ex-lover (Michael Rosenbaum) and the inept United States Marshal assigned to protect him (Tom Arnold).

For a film that is basically one long car chase, most scenes rely on the interaction between one or two people isolated in a car, putting a lot of weight on character development and clever writing. Shepard and Bell carry the bulk of that weight, showcasing what seems like a look into their own real-life relationship with quirky conversations that try to break through the stereotypical rom-com expectations.

Kbell, of course, makes it all look natural; taking us along on an emotional rollercoaster as she slowly begins to see Shepard’s former life come together. The chemistry between them is evident and a lot of effort has gone into trying to create an authentic, non-Hollywood connection between two characters. It’s easy to watch the two of them in the front seat for most of the movie. (It’s easy to watch Kbell in any movie.) 

But it’s Tom Arnold as the bumbling US Marshall who can’t seem to get a handle on his weapon that breaks up the movie with a little bit of comic relief. His frenzied lack of professionalism and profuse sweating is borderline uncomfortable.

The most uncomfortable part of the movie, however, wasn’t Arnold’s sweat glands or the shock of a room full of naked seniors or a graphic account of what happened to a gang member in prison. The most uncomfortable part of the movie was Bradley Cooper’s hair. What was happening there, I have no idea, but it was almost more ridiculous than anything else that was thrown at us.

As an independent film with no real studio supervision, it’s easy to see that this was Shepard’s baby and he really wears his heart on his sleeve throughout it. A number of real life friends make small appearances as well (Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman), showing their support and adding to the communal dream that this movie seemed to grow from.

Sure, sometimes it feels like it was just an excuse to show off Shepard’s stunt driving and his own car collection (the hot rod Lincoln Continental and the off-road race car are both his), and it may have been more fitting to call it Hit and Miss, but when it does hit, it makes for one exciting ride.

images from google images