Despite a semi-quiet release and meager 48% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I must admit: last year’s Hit & Run was highly entertaining. Dax Shepard (yeah, yeah…I know) deserves some cred for wearing the hat of writer, co-director and star, and alongside his fellow cast members, baby mama Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper and Tom Arnold, the movie flows well and has plenty of laughs along the way.
Shepard plays Charlie Bronson, a former getaway driver now in the witness protection program after testifying against some of his partners-in-crime. When his girlfriend Annie gets an interview for an opportunity in L.A., Charlie decides to drive her there despite what his supervising U.S. Marshall (Arnold) has to say. Thanks to the douchebaggery of Annie’s ex-boyfriend Gil, Alexander Dmitri (Cooper), one the guys Charlie put away, is soon hot on their trail. Then the funny happens.
The movie has a great mix of comedy and action with a dash of drama thrown in as well. The chase scenes are surprisingly decent and the set-up and flow make you feel attached enough to the characters by film’s end. The cast is really the shining light here. Cooper, dreadlocked and gangster’ed up, is hilarious as the white wannabe Alex, and Arnold plays a perfect bumbling watchdog. And when is Kristen Bell not absolutely delightful? The answer is never.
The guest stars and cameos are aplenty – Kristin Chenoweth, Ryan Hansen, Joy Bryant (Parenthood shoutout!), David Koechner, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes all pop in and out throughout all the chasing, and it’s enjoyable to see all of the likable, familiar faces. The film didn’t need them, but hey, bonus.
Considering that Shepard got his start out with Ashton Kutcher on Punk’d, liking the former prankster has been a tough pill for me to swallow (not even mentioning the list of stinkers he has on his resume). But hey, props are due. Shepard can definitely handle drama, as evidenced week after week on NBC’s Parenthood. His stint in the incredible familial drama has really transformed him into an actor as opposed to just a here-and-there support guy. Having said that, with Hit & Run under his belt it seems he’s got some life in him after all. If you like any of these actors, are a Parenthood fan, or dig the general premise, Hit & Run will satisfy and be worthy of a Netflix or Red Box rental.
Did I mention Kristen Bell is in it? No brainer, people.