Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hit & Run ★ ★ ★ ½

Release Dates

Australia:  6th September, 2012; USA 22nd August, 2012; UK12th October 2012
Other Countries: Release Dates


          The actors were clearly having a good time. The audience was laughing around me and I had the occasional giggle, so if you are looking for a bit of light fun with attractive leads, you won’t be disappointed with “Hit and Run”.
The film is written, co-produced and co-directed by the lead, Dax Shepard.  He does a great job playing the laid-back Charlie Bronson, hiding away in witness protection living idyllically with his soul mate Annie (Kristen Bell).   These two have a real chemistry on screen and it is not surprising as they are a real life couple.
Shepherd appears to have a penchant for rounding up mates and making films and it was whilst doing press for ‘Brother’s Justice’ (a mockumentary film with many of this same cast) that the idea for ‘Hit and Run’ was launched. “We kept getting asked what we were going to do next, and we just started saying we were going to do a car chase movie,” Shepard recalls. “We had no script or premise – we just knew we loved car chase movies.  And because we had said it, we knew we would have to deliver.”
The film, in fact, had no casting director. “We didn’t cast any strangers,” Co-Director David Palmer explains. “They all got paid SAG scale for a low budget movie – because they all love Dax. There’s a friendship and trust and sweetness about him that just brings everybody together.” Notes Shepard, “This was pro ably the worst work environment that most of these actors have had in years.  It was chaotic, but everyone really had a good time.”
In ‘Hit and Run’, Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard), a get-away driver for a bank robber gang is in witness protection.  He places his life at risk when his girlfriend, Annie (Kristen Bell) is offered an interview for her dream job in LA.  He decides rather than losing her he will drive her to LA despite his case worker Marshall Randy Anderson (Tom Arnold) forbidding him to leave.  There is an ongoing joke involving Randy’s inability to control his gun and his car which works very well throughout the movie.  In fact, Tom Arnold’s Randy is a standout character.
Unfortunately, Gil (Michael Rosenbaum) the jealous ex-boyfriend alerts Charlie’s old gang leader, Alex Dmitri (Bradley Cooper) and the rest is a car pursuit that evokes shades of the classic 1977 Burt Reynolds ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ but in our current era’s ribald style humor. There are many well known actors in bit parts; Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth, Beau Bridges, Jason Bateman to name a few.

Whilst ‘Hit and Run’, isn’t going to drive away with any awards, as my companion commented, "its good fun, good laughs and at the end you feel good."  And if I think back to my first viewing of ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, I think I felt much the same way.