Hit and Run
Hit and Run is the second offering from the directing duo Dax Shepard and David Palmer (the first being the almost unheard of Brother’s Justice), and is also the second film that Shepard has written.
Hit and Run follows Charlie Bronson (Shepard – Without a Paddle, Idiocracy) and his girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell – Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Gossip Girl) as they return to LA so that Annie can take her dream job. There is one problem, though: Charlie Bronson is actually Yul Perkins, a man who had to flee LA as part of the witness protection programme. A complete lack of hilarity ensues.
Audiences of bad gross-out films will recognise Dax Shepard immediately from his numerous supporting roles as a half-witted and/or unpleasant antagonist/sidekick. Hit and Run is much better than one would have anticipated with Dax Shepard at the helm and acting as scribe. There are only a few missteps in the story logic, not that many plot holes, and it has a clear narrative. That said, Hit and Run is virtually a vehicular-porn movie: wafer-thin bits of plot are stitched in between a series of quite spectacular car chases featuring an array of beautiful cars. The chase sequences are not exactly integral to the plot but they are the best thing about the film.
While the film making isn’t exactly in the same experimental league as someone like Matthew Barney, it features a few interesting techniques and is surprisingly solid for two new directors. There are two points in particular that really drag Hit and Run down. The first is that there is an extended sequence that is racist towards a number of different ethnicities. It is unspeakably unfunny and bizarrely degrading. It seems at odds with the rest of the humour in the film and is a real turn-off. The second major problem with the film is that it really isn’t funny. This is not because the jokes fall flat or the cast cannot deliver the funny stuff; there just simply do not seem to be many gags in the movie. It sparks an interesting point: what makes a film a comedy?
Hit and Run is complete rainy-day, easy-viewing, popcorn fodder. It won’t tax you mentally, you find a few laughs and the car chases are very impressive. All of the cast perform their rather limited roles perfectly well with Dax Shepard showing a lot more depth than usual. One is left wishing that there had been more automotive action and laughs but it exceeds the low expectations set by Shepard’s previous work.
Hit and Run is released nationwide on Friday 12th October 2012.
Watch the trailer for Hit and Run here: