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HIT & RUN

★★★

A DIESEL-FUELLED ROMP

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By Daniel Lammin
7th January 2013
So many films get released these days that it’s easy for the little ones to slip through the cracks. Most of the time, this has to do with unsatisfactory storytelling or filmmaking, but occasionally, some fun little gems can pop up amongst the trash. This is certainly the case with the entertaining romp ‘Hit & Run’, written and directed by comedian Dax Shepard, and co-directed by David Palmer. Recruiting some of his most talented friends in for the ride, it’s a quirky throwback to the 70s with hot cars, hot girls and hot one-liners.

Charlie (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Kristen Bell) are totally in love, and want to spend the rest of their lives together. Annie is a teacher at a local college, teaching conflict resolution, while Charlie has been laying low in witness protection for four years, after witnessing a violent crime back home in Hollywood. But when Annie is offered a job opportunity in LA, things become complicated. In order to keep them together, Charlie decides to break protection, and follow the woman of his dreams. However, Charlie isn’t exactly who he says he is, and his movements have put him back on the radar of Alex (Bradley Cooper), a twisted hitman who has been hunting Charlie, and a chase breaks out across the country in order to escape Alex and get Annie to her job interview in time.

HIT AND RUN TRAILER

‘Hit & Run’ is a modest film, but one that thankfully understands its limitations, and doesn’t try to be more than it is. The story becomes quirkily complicated as more characters enter the chase, but none of them seem superfluous, and the cast size doesn’t blow out of proportion. Sure, some characters are only there for comic effect, like Charlie’s hapless and trigger-incompetent protection officer Randy (Tom Arnold), and a strange gay subplot seems a bit out of place, but this just adds to the strange charm of the film.

Shepard and Bell have very clear chemistry (the pair are together in real life), and Shepard has such a laid-back ease that he becomes an unexpectedly likable straight man amidst the chaos. Cooper makes a surprisingly intelligent choice as Alex, choosing to make him quietly threatening rather than full-blown psychopath, and in a strange way, proves once again that he is someone worth paying attention to. Also of note are Michael Rosenbaum as Annie’s awful and delusional ex-boyfriend Gil, who is convinced Charlie is a serial killer and helps Alex track them down. And, as to be expected from her, Kristin Chenoweth steals the screen as Annie’s boss Debbie, a pill-popping alcoholic schools administrator with a solid heart. Something about Chenoweth makes her thrilling to watch whether she’s wholesome, straight-down-the-line, or camp white trash.

Shepard and Bell have very clear chemistry.

There are a few points where the narrative stumbles (especially Alex’s backstory), and the screenplay isn’t watertight, but there’s a lot to be charmed by with ‘Hit & Run’. It’s a fun throwback to an old-style of diesel-fuelled filmmaking, with a strong and welcome feminine kick. The car chases are great, well-executed and shot, and unusual enough to keep you watching (look out for the chase in the abandoned air field, like something from a 60s chase caper). While it might not have much staying power, ‘Hit & Run’ is definitely an entertaining way to spend an hour and a half.

Special Features were unavailable to preview, but the disc will include cast Interviews, behind the scenes footage and the film's trailer.

Want to win a copy of 'Hit & Run' on Blu-ray? Click here for all the details.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 09/01/2013
RUN TIME: 1h 40m
CAST: Dax Shepard - Charlie
Kristen Bell - Annie
Bradley Cooper - Alex
Tom Arnold - Randy
Michael Rosenbaum - Gil
Kristen Chenoweth - Debbie
DIRECTORS: Dax Shepard
David Palmer
WRITER: Dax Shepard
www.hitandrunmovie.com
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