A former getaway driver and his girlfriend are on the run from his former comrades in this action-comedy starring Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell. From the producers of Wedding Crashers. Now playing nationwide.
Action romantic comedies tend to produce some poorly manufactured star-studded cash-grabs (The Bounty Hunter, This Means War). Fortunately, co-director/writer/lead actor Dax Shepard steers clear of this territory, moulding Hit and Run with an indie sensibility reminiscent of the Duplass brothers, though it may not match their smarts.
It’s essentially a chase film, revolving around Dax’s character Charlie Bronson (a faux name, yes) who helps his girlfriend get to L.A. with three entities in pursuit: a useless cop, a pathetic ex-boyfriend and a gang member from Charlie’s shrouded past.
The script, while never laugh-out-loud funny, is consistently chuckle-inducing. Every character nails the delivery, showing Dax’s strong control over his own material. They reel back and correct themselves on some of the more discriminatory gags, most noticeably when Charlie drops the ‘fag’ bomb, apologising for it a minute later - Hit and Run proving both liberally humorous and humorously liberal.
The story simmers for the first half hour, but when conflict finally drops, the resolutions don’t play out as you’d expect, with the characters solving their issues through reason and understanding rather than overtly contrived and exaggerated reactions. It’s a refreshing defiance of traditional rom-com conventions, most evident in the scenes where Charlie reveals his prior life to his girlfriend.
With some likeable characters and a script that mixes laughs and charm, Hit and Run is well worth a watch. However, it never presents anything beyond ‘likeable’, the car-chase scenes are strangely monotonous and the anticlimactic end dampens the experience.