Movie Review: Hit and Run

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell in Hit & Run
Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell in Hit & Run - Photo © Open Road Films

Reviewed by Ian Forbes, Sobering Conclusion

Many of the younger movie-going set may not remember Burt Reynolds was box office king from 1978 to 1982. How in the hell does that relate to a movie review for Hit & Run? It’s almost a matter of cinematic DNA really, as the essence of the film is like a throwback to the Smokey and the Bandit franchise. That same sense of fun, comedy, and ability to develop extremely likable characters shines through the screenplay written by Dax Shepard; who also stars in the movie and worked behind the scenes as co-director and co-editor.
The plot is simple enough: Shepard plays a former getaway driver now in witness protection who’s trying to balance the task of getting his girlfriend (Kristen Bell) to a job interview while also evading previous criminal cohorts out for revenge from the job that landed him in the not so safe care of a US Marshal (Tom Arnold). What makes the whole experience so enjoyable is the cast.
From the excellent chemistry of Shepard and Bell (showing real life relationships can translate on-screen) to the hilarious efforts of Arnold, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rosenbaum, Jess Rowland, Beau Bridges and a few uncredited folks I don’t want to spoil the surprise for, the movie oscillates fluidly between laugh out loud jokes to heartfelt and endearing moments. There’s not one weak link in the chain and all that was missing was a gag reel to play at the end of the credits (though stick around as they begin to roll for a bonus scene).
The car chases are handled nicely and although the movie comes a bit out of nowhere, with very little in the way of marketing to ensure it delivers a super strong opening weekend, Hit & Run is one of the most fun movies of 2012. Audiences who can buy themselves tickets for R-rated movies (and remember to leave their kids at home with a babysitter because that’s the responsible thing to do) will be delighted to enjoy a movie that doesn’t try to be more than it is and understands the very definition of the word ‘entertainment’.
Trying to go on and on about it would only end up spoiling a joke or sounding like more plot synopsis regurgitation. All you need to know is that it’s a good time and one of the few films going worth the price of admission.
Hit and Run hits theaters on August 22, 2012 and is rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, graphic nudity, some violence and drug content.