Title: Hit and Run

Director: David Palmer and Dax Shepard

Hit and Run is essentially the Dax Shepard show. He writes, stars, and co-directs this 100 minute action/comedy/romance; or more specifically, car chases/crude dialogue/co-star Kristen Bell.

Not that this matters, but the two romantically linked leads featured in the onscreen story are also a legit couple in real-life. So yeah, their chemistry together is spot-on and emanates a nice natural vibe as they go back-n-forth with each other sarcastically and substantially.

While there’s a barely workable plot moving this sucker along, the true underlying story is about relationships. Each discussion regarding the predicaments all the characters find themselves in, are reflections of what we all go through in love and friendship. Sure these conversations rarely ever take place while tearing around in cars on the outskirt roads in California with people shooting at each other, but they do come up eventually in life in some fashion. And the flick really tries to cleverly present them and give an introspective look, albeit a random one, on how we as a society tackle them.

In what looks to be a hybrid of 1994’s The Chase meets 2011’s Drive, the screenplay is seemingly stuck in neutral. Even with the additions of Tom Arnold acting all paranoid and Bradley Cooper trying to be a caricature antagonist, they just never find the right gear to amp this journey up. And then there’s the assortment of cameos that also amount to zilch. It just seems that Dax grabbed his girlfriend and Hollywood friends and shot a backyard movie (literally and figuratively). And that’s admirable in some respects. But it doesn’t mean it works as an entertaining cinematic product.

Some of the jokes and/or crude dialogue are on par with today’s wit yet the majority of them needed more cultivating, specifically, structured timing. By always having the subtle social commentary about relationship challenges weaving back into the forefront, along with Dax Shepard being capable to make this story progress behind the lens, this can be watchable (though seeing Beau Bridges blatantly throwing air-punches reveal some careless continuity mishaps). It’s just a shame Shepard couldn’t get the rest of the cast on the same page as to what was in his seemingly talented/pragmatic mind.

But if seeing a guy (Shepard) in the witness protection program, who knows how to drive a badass muscle car, risking it all to get his girlfriend (Bell) to Los Angeles; all while having his federal marshal escort (Arnold), his girl’s jealous preppy ex-boyfriend (Michael Rosenbaum), and a vengeful friend (Cooper) wanting to settle an old score, then by all means, give this a test drive. Just remember, yours truly did provide you with the Carfax.

Technical: C

Story: C

Acting: D

Overall: D+

Hit and Run
Good hustle, but not quite there kids.

By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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