Hit & Run is a snappy road-trip comedy
Starring Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell. Rated 14A.
Do we have any real evidence that Dax Shepard and Zach Braff are not the same person? Aside from the big honkers, receding chin lines, and those funny first names, they’re in the same kind of movies—but never together. I mean, the alleged Dax even voiced a character called Zack on King of the Hill, so that’s all you really need to know.
In his second writing-and-codirecting venture with music-vid veteran David Palmer (hence the superhip soundtrack), “Shepard” goes by a few different names. Part of a witness-protection program for his role in a bank robbery and subsequent trial, he’s known as Charlie Bronson to his college-teacher girlfriend, Annie, played with Pepsodent effervescence by Kristen Bell.
Annie has some inkling that the guy’s in exile from big bad Los Angeles, what with all those visits from an accident-prone U.S. marshal (Tom Arnold) charged with looking out for him in the podunk burg where they live. But she gets brought up to (high) speed when offered a job in L.A. Because who turns down an invite to head a brand-new university department with less than a week’s notice, right?
Plot considerations are among the casually maimed bystanders in Hit & Run, a road-trip comedy that doesn’t stint on vehicle chases and other bad behaviour but really has its heart set on spunky repartee. Annie and her shaggy, tatted beau—who, it turns out, was really named after Yul Brynner—never stop dissecting their relationship, even while dodging bullets. Think of it as Mad About You with muscle cars, swearing, and naked old people.
The snappy patter—much of it dealing rather frankly with discomfort over homophobia and ethnic stereotyping—continues when what’s-his-name finally meets up with his nemesis, played by Bradley Cooper in aviator glasses and blond dreadlocks. He’s quite funny in the part—but how come they couldn’t get Zach Braff, eh?
I rest my case.
Watch the trailer for Hit & Run.