The Score: "'Hit & Run' Is Merely The Latest Picture To Give The Catch-All Notion Of A B Movie A Bad Name"

Friday, Aug 24, 2012 5:45PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

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  • Hit & Run
  • Dax Shepard, Bradley Cooper
  • August 24, 2012
Examiner 3/5
Screen Rant 2.5/5
Boston 2.5/5
Chicago Tribute 1.5/5
Cinema Blend 2/5

With the summer less than a month away from ending, what better way to go out with a bang than strapping in for a fast-paced, comedy-filled fun movie? Opening today, Hit & Run attempts to hit the spot.

This new comedy-action movie follows the lives of a small town couple who are in for a few big surprises.

Charlie (Dax Shepard ) just wants to live happily and enjoy small town country life with his girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell ), but Annie gets a job offer in Los Angeles and Charlie decides to leave the witness protection program just to take her there. Hot on their trail is Charlie's former best friend Alex Dimitri (Bradley Cooper ), Charlie's ex-fiancé Neve (Joy Bryant ), Annie's ex-boyfriend Gil (Michael Rosenbaum ), and a haphazard marshall named Randy (Tom Arnold ) who's in charge of watching over Charlie. (Examiner)

Although The Hangover 1 & 2 star Bradley Cooper is showered in the movie promotion, lead actor Dax Shepard helms shows he can command a lead role.

When Shepard's on, though, he's really on. There's hardly anything rote or predictable about "Hit & Run," other than its title. That's true of Shepard's screen presence, too. He's Owen Wilson with a Billy Bob Thornton streak. That doesn't sound like such a good idea, like a sloe gin fizz chased with RC Cola. But it works. Shepard's chemistry with Bell carries the picture. The rest of the cast does fine. Bradley Cooper, as one of the bank robbers Charlie's trying to avoid, shows up in dreadlocks and amber-tinted aviators. You can sense what a good time he's having. He's like Colin Farrell in "Horrible Bosses": big star as bad guy with very bad hair. Tom Arnold, as the world's most inept US marshal, gets more than his share of laughs. (Boston)

Along with acting in the film, Shepard is also largely responsible for his behind-the-scenes contributions.

Hit & Run was written and co-directed by Shepard; the other half of that directorial team is David Palmer, Shepard's friend and collaborator (the two made another indie comedy called Brother's Justice). Much of the cast is also made up of names the lead actors have worked with before, and/or call friend; in that sense, Hit & Run has a pretty tight-knit atmosphere, with plenty of chemistry between the players onscreen. On the other hand, a lot of Hit & Run depends on your reaction to seeing a real-life couple get mushy while playing around with their friends - and as the very first scene clearly establishes, that's the type of "fun" this movie is going to offer. (Screen Rant)

Beyond the quick laughs, some movie critics took aim at the film's offensive comedy and lack of logic in the story-telling element.

The script takes its central relationship seriously, which leads to an unusual number of soul-searching conversations and which mitigates, to some degree, the general wash of wisecracks regarding all sorts of rape. Shepard wants it both ways: His character is meant to be a sweet lunkhead who uses words such as "fag" and insults Asians, but by movie's end he's learned his lesson and is deserving of his woman. Like the "Hangover" films, "Hit & Run" trades in a very violent brand of comedy that sells. I don't buy it; it's not slapstick, it's just viciousness. There's a set piece in which Cooper's character humiliates and wallops a menacing African-American stranger, and it threw me straight out of the movie. That scene's played for laughs, of course. But even with its retro vibe, "Hit & Run" is merely the latest picture, more modestly scaled than most, to give the catch-all notion of the B movie a bad name, deserving of a new category: the D movie. (Chicago Tribune)
There's a lot of noise and silliness in Hit & Run to balance out all this privacy invading, at least, with Charlie deciding it's time to bust out his old muscle car and return to the scene of the crime (Los Angeles) when Annie is offered her dream job, teaching non-violent conflict resolution at a nameless college. That flashy car gets the attention of Annie's over-protective ex (Michael Rosenbaum), his sheriff brother (Jess Rowland), and eventually Alex (Bradley Cooper, in dreads and a horrible hippie sweater), the guy who Charlie helped put in jail. You may ask yourself why in the world Charlie would drive this insane car-- Annie has a perfectly good, normal one-- when he's trying to keep a low profile. The movie neither asks nor answers this question, and whether they assumed you were too stupid to ask it or didn't even think about it in the fun of making this movie is unclear. (Cinema Blend)

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