Monday, February 4, 2013

Hit & Run

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Hit & Run – 3 out of 5

Hit & Run sounds like either a really lame title for a Top 20 hard rock album from a band that sounds like a mixture of Nickelback, 3 Doors Down and Creed (so they sound like Nickelback) or a lame title for a cheap video game. In reality, it’s a cheap title for a action chase comedy but unlike those other possibilities I just set forth, this movie isn’t really that bad.

Dax Shepard is a zombie right with decent skin tone, right?

She can non-violently resolve my conflict any day...
screw you, I'm not really good at the sexy thing.
Hit & Run is the story about Charles Bronson (not the Death Wish guy) who’s in the witness protection program after snitching on his bank robbing friends (played by Dax Shepard) under the watchful eye of a Federal Marshal (played by Tom Arnold) and living in Milton, California. Bronson’s girlfriend (Kristen Bell), a professor with a degree in Non-Violent Conflict Resolution, gets a job in Los Angeles and is now forced with the idea of chasing her dream job or staying with her boyfriend she’s crazy about. Bronson decides to say, “Screw you, Witness Protection Program” and decides to personally deliver her to her interview in L.A.. However, a jealous ex-boyfriend finds out who Bronson really is and blows the whistle. Now, Bronson’s former partner; Alex (Bradley Cooper), is on the chase to get some revenge for being sent to prison and the awful events that occurred to him there.

Bradley Cooper's dreadlocks got their own credit...and trailer.

This one is a great “let’s give it a shot” film that it’s not terrible and is pretty okay. It’s one of those comedies that never truly achieves lift-off and blasts into absolute hilarity (I’m not entirely sure why I went with space exploration imagery to describe a chase film) but it doesn’t come crashing down to Earth either in a fiery ball of suck (again, why the hell did I go with this analogy?). The film offers up some amusing moments—especially with Tom Arnold who hasn’t been this entertaining since True Lies—as well as some great music and chase sequences along the way.

Arnold is on the other end of that call talking about True Lies 2.

The budget was so low, Arnold had to sell oranges
out of the back of his van to help the movie...or maybe
that's just what he's doing now.
The film was made on a shoe-string budget; about 2 million dollars (that’s shoe-string when it comes to making movies) and nearly half the cash went to the music in the film—and it’s worth it because this movie really knows how to use music. However, due to the tight cash flow, many actors within the film were friends of Dax Shepard, who co-directed the film with David Palmer. He also did all his own stunt driver (which made from great shots as they didn’t have to have a painfully obvious stunt double in place) and some of the cars used were from his own collection. This type of dedication alone makes the film cool in my book because it was obvious Shepard cared about the final product and put his own cash, property and blood, sweat and tears into it.

And he added some Bateman.  Just a little bit of Bateman. Makes everything sweeter.

"This face helps me shoot better!"
Even Shepard’s performance is beyond anything I’ve ever seen him showcase in the past. He comes off as a person who has the potential to be a strong leading man in days to come. I already know the guy is funny (see Idiocracy) but he showed that he can be not only funny without being ridiculous but showed he’s pretty much a badass thanks to a cool fight scene and just plain awesome chase scenes where Shepard did his own driving (I mention his driving skills a second time because I can’t even parallel park and this guy can operate a handbrake like it’s a paintbrush and that fucking impresses me!). While there were some flaws in his performance (albeit not awful ones) Shepard showed that through more work and more tweaking to his craft, he could be a legitimate leading man in more movies. Pretty impressive when you consider his career basically started as Ashton Kutcher’s bitch in an awful MTV series.

"Vroom, vrrrroooom, vroom!"

Hit & Run, even with its Direct-to-DVD style title, may not have been a memorable comedy that warrants numerous repeat viewings in the future, the film is still pretty damn good. While never outright hilarious, the movie definitely has its moments.

David Koechner collects rain water with his bottom lip.  Fun fact!

Before this movie, I never would have suggested
getting into a car with Shepard but now...
The movie also offers up some great laughs from Shepard, Bell, Cooper and even Tom Arnold as well as the great chase scenes. I haven’t seen Dax Shepard’s other directorial efforts like his short film Reunited or the mockumentary Brother’s Justice (both co-directed with Palmer) but seeing this film and Shepard’s performance as a more down-to-earth character (about as down-to-earth as a character in an action comedy can get) I can’t help but think that Shepard has shown a new side to himself and a possible good starting point for a new path in his career. 

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