Directed by: David Palmer, Dax Shepard
Starring: Kristin Bell, Dax Shepard, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Kristin Chenoweth, Beau Bridges
What is there possibly to say about Hit & Run? After noting that it is probably the most negligible and disposable film of the year, where can you go — besides another movie? It reminded me a great deal of the sort of movies we used to run at the drive-in where I was projectionist back in 1974 — the kind of movie that would prompt me to open the back of the projector so that it would illuminate the pasture behind the projection booth on the chance that the cows were doing something more interesting than the film. Unfortunately, that alternative was not open to me with Hit & Run, but the reminiscence did allow me to kill some time wondering whatever became of those cows. Believe me, that was a plus whenever Hit & Run went into extended — and sometimes slow motion — scenes of cars doing doughnuts or wheelies before chasing each other. That’s the kind of movie this is.
In a way, I hate being so down on this movie. I mean, next week when The Oogieloves opens, this will probably look pretty good. In a way, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are just so darn cute that disliking their stupid little movie feels like being mean to kittens. I’m sorry, but cute only goes so far — and this movie goes much further and for far too long. (Come on, folks: A dumb action comedy doesn’t need to be this long by at least 15 minutes.)
For the record, there’s sort of a story. Dax Shepard plays Charles Bronson (an assumed name, of course), who in reality is Yul Perkins, a getaway driver living in a sleepy little town under the witness protection program ever since he turned in evidence to the state on his bank robbing compatriots. He has a singularly inept keeper, Randy (Tom Arnold), who has a problem with his gun going off and forgetting to put cars in park. Bronson also has a girlfriend, Annie (Kristen Bell), who lands her dream job, which is unfortunately in Los Angeles. Throwing caution to the wind, Yul goes AWOL with her. Unfortunately, not only is Randy in pursuit, but so is Annie’s ex, Gil (TV actor Michael Rosenbaum), who has discovered Yul’s true identity and past. Naturally, he tips off Yul’s former associates, especially Alex (Bradley Cooper), who not only wants the hidden money they stole, but a certain amount of revenge over having been raped in jail. Much fast driving ensues. And that’s pretty much it.
Is any of it funny? Some of it is mildly amusing — accent on the mildly — but most of it is just tedious and repetitive. It’s mostly painless and the leads are pleasant. That, however, is about the best that can be said. Put it this way, you can do better — even by just not going to the movies. Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, graphic nudity, some violence and drug content.