Title: HIT & RUN
Open Road Films
Reviewed for Shockya by Harvey Karten
Director: David Palmer, Dax Shepard
Screenwriter: Dax Shepard
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell, Kristin Chenoweth, Dax Shepard, Beau Bridges
Screened at: Park Ave., NYC, 7/26/12
Opens: August 24, 2012
If you like car chases, you may alter your views after seeing David Palmer and Dax Shepard’s “Hit & Run.” With a script (if you can call it that written by its star), the comedy is as fast moving as the principal character’s 1967 Lincoln with “700 ponies,” but half the picture seems to be taken up with three or four cars chasing one another while the other half appears largely improvised. The result is a comedy with fewer laughs than you’d find on a Saturday Night Live sketch—and that’s few indeed.
Dax Shepard performs in the role of Charlie Bronson aka Yul Perkins who, unbeknownst to his cute girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell) is living in Milton, California in the witness protection program. While he may have given her the impression after revealing his secret past that he was a witness against a bank robber (Bradley Cooper), he was actually the getaway driver in a series of thirteen heists who is being chased by the guy he ratted out.
This road-and-buddy movie also features Tom Arnold in a role considered by the makers of the film to be funny, but even that average actor seems to strive for mediocrity this time. He’s chasing Charlie, Bradley Cooper’s character is chasing Charlie, a gay cop is part of the menagerie of chasers, and Annie doesn’t know whether to abandon the guy she suddenly realizes she doesn’t know. Should the past determine a significant other’s feelings? Yes, says Annie, no, says Charlie, and you can probably guess whose philosophy wins out.
There is one hugely embarrassing moment when the bank robber has an argument in a supermarket with a tall and muscular black dude who, in the robber’s opinion, is feeing his pit bull inferior nourishment. To prove his point, he lassoes the black guy with the leash, drags him outside for a block, and makes him eat the “sawdust” that he bought for the dog. If this doesn’t conjure up an image of slavery, I don’t know what will.
There you have it: dull car chases, ridiculous dialogue, embarrassing moments, and lack of humor. Apparently the two critics whose commentary is on the IMDB (IMDB.com) disagree as do two audience members whose quotes appear on rotten tomatoes. There is no doubt an audience for this kind of stuff.
Rated R. 97 minutes © 2012 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Story – D
Acting – C
Technical – B
Overall – C