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Hit and Run will probably reaffirm fans’ love for the real-life relationship of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, while simultaneously making fans hate heist capers based on car chases. Its low budget road trip story with a criminal bent is never even saved by its slew of guest stars, making it mostly an unfortunate waste of talent.
Written and directed by Shepard and co-directed by David Palmer, Hit and Run follows the story of Charlie Bronson (Shepard) and Annie Bean (Kristen Bell), who are reaching a critical point in their relationship. Just as things get serious, however, Annie is offered a job in Los Angeles, which both happens to be located far away and be a place Charlie is not supposed to head to. Unbeknownst to Annie, Charlie was formerly a bank robber who turned a new leaf after giving up his cronies and entering the witness protection program. When his old partners sniff out some news on Charlie’s whereabouts, a chase across part of the country ensues.
While Shepard and Bell seem to mostly be playing themselves with different backstories, the rest of the cast is filled with stock characters or characters that are too strange to be watchable. In the former category we have Neve (Joy Bryant—hello, Parenthood cameo), an African American female criminal with more than a bit of an attitude. In the latter category, we have Debby Kreeger (Kristin Chenoweth), a college administrator with a drug and sex-laced past who has a dirtier mouth than a prostitute. The worse offender is probably Gil (Michael Rosenbaum), Annie’s besotted ex, who would go to any lengths to prove he still belongs in the young woman’s life. This isn't including any of the one-scene side characters, either.
It’s not that the film’s issues stem from the acting, even when some of the characters are nothing short of outrageous. There are some compelling performances here, especially from the main couple, who still manage their rapport when delving into absurd “I didn’t know you were a bank robber” conversations. Additionally, Bradley Cooper, who appears in Hit and Run as a dreadlock-sporting bad guy after revenge and some hidden money, sometimes manages to harness his wild character and provide some funny moments onscreen. Unfortunately, the movie is more about the testosterone-filled car chases that begin soon after Charlie leaves with Annie on her big trip to Los Angeles. Everyone wants a piece of Charlie and his pretty sixties Lincoln, including Charlie’s parole officer, a couple of cops, and Charlie’s former crew. Which means fans get lots and lots of moments with Charlie and Annie in various cars as they are getting chased.
I may be female, but cool cars and interesting chase scenes can still pique my interest. There are a few of these moments that are completely investing, including when Charlie grabs an off-road race car and jumps it over a few police and civilian vehicles. However, there are plenty of excessive moments, too, including a lengthy scene where Charlie and Annie do donuts to kick up dirt and escape from ex-boyfriend, Gil. Maybe the movie should have foregone some of the comedy for better action or should have forgone some of the action for better comedy, but at the end of the day, there’s something missing in Hit and Run’s formula. It’s not the biggest waste of time, ever, but, in all likelihood, it’s probably not worth chasing down a copy.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has a certain flair for its discs, and the studio even pulls out all of the stops for smaller movies like Hit and Run. The menu is clean and easy to navigate, and the desert colors within the film pop, although the yellow backdrop on the menu page makes the characters look a little washed out.
The set doesn’t feature a ton of extras, but six deleted scenes are present, although none offer commentary. The deleted scenes are actually extended scenes, focusing extensively on the early scenes between Bell and Chenoweth, as well as Charlie and his parole officer. Finally, even more car chase scenes are highlighted and a couple of these are even more ridiculous than the stuff that shows up in the movie itself.
Three featurettes follow. The first, “Street Legal,” takes a look at the vehicles that pop up in the film, which apparently are mostly made up of cars Shepard owned prior to shooting, which makes sense, since he likely wrote the script with his own cars in mind. The other featurettes take a look at other aspects involved in shooting the film and featuring interviews from Shepard and Bell.
It’s actually a decent Blu-ray for a less decent film, and may be worth a purchase if you did enjoy the movie.
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