Actor, director, writer Dax Shepard has regularly been in movies and television shows since 2003, but it wasn’t until he signed on to play Crosby Braverman in the 2012 series Parenthood that he started to see his career take off. Hit and Run is the second feature film that he’s written, directed and starred in, and once again he’s brought Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold and a few others along for the ride.
Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard) is living a quiet life in a small out of the way town with his girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell). Things change however when Annie is offered a dream job in Los Angeles. Charlie offers to drive her to L.A., but in order to do so he has to give up the safety of the Witness Protection Program, which allows his old gang that he testified against to find him. As he rushes Annie across the country to make it to L.A., Charlie must evade her old boyfriend, his old gang, and a U.S. Marshall.
Hit and Run really doesn’t seem to know what sort of movie it wants to be. On one hand it’s a romantic comedy, on another an action chase flick, and sometimes it even plays out like a drama. The movie really needed to pick a genre and stick with it. Dax Shepard turn as the lead in his own movie worked well enough, and he even manages a pretty decent level of charisma, but he doesn’t have any sort of chemistry with his onscreen partner Kristen Bell (with whom he has been engaged for a couple of years in real life) or any of the other characters. Tom Arnold plays his role as a bumbling U.S Marshall for laughs, but even knowing that can’t save his over the top performance. Bradley Cooper’s character suffers from the same things the movie does, in that he can’t really decide if he wants to be a badass villain or just a character looking to get himself the money he believes he is owed. All that being said the movie does offer some laughs, and you find yourself watching to find out how it will all end up. You just probably won’t ever watch it again once you know.
Hit and Run is more of a Sunday afternoon, watch at home sort of movie, and it will probably do a lot better on DVD than it does at the theatres. It’s watchable, and at times entertaining, but it doesn’t really stand out.