Posted by Nicholas Rapp on August 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm
Dax Shepard is a Hollywood funny man who can also drive cars fast. Or maybe it is the other way around; regardless, cars were the inspiration for the film Hit and Run. “Really, the cars themselves were the inspiration,” said Shepard in an interview with comingsoon. Luckily for audiences everywhere, Hit and Run is not another car chase movie. Somehow, the film is a romantic comedy in which high intensity car scenes play a huge part.
Shepard plays a man named Yul Perkins who has retreated to a small town after bringing an end to his past life of crime in LA. He intended to stay in this small town for the rest of his days, as he is there in a witness protection program. That’s right; he ratted out his compadre. Hilariously unfitting, he changed his name to “Charles Bronson” because he thought it would make him appear tougher. So we have Charles Bronson, an ex-con, living in a small friendly neighborhood with nothing to do but be the best boyfriend around to the lovely Annie, who is played by Kristen Bell.
Kristen Bell plays a sociology professor with an emphasis in non violent solutions to conflict at the local university, who is told by her boss – Kristen Chenoweth – that if she doesn’t take a job offer at the big “UC” in LA, then she would be fired. Kristen Chenoweth is really good at caring about a person in her own unsympathetic and uncaring way. Annie (Bell) has been dating “Charles Bronson” for the past year, and has not a clue of who he once was. When he decides to face his fears and drive his girlfriend to LA, she, a sociology professor, with an emphasis in NON-violent conflict resolution has no idea of the violence soon to amass around her.
So how does this sound like a romantic comedy? He’s going back to the heartland of his wicked days for her! And besides, it isn’t about a man who has to face his past. It’s about how a sociology professor copes with the man she loves being an ex-con, and whether or not their love can withstand these revelations.
Among the revelations are that Yul was the driver for a thief team, which explains his awesome car. Being that he wrote and directed the film, he definitely mapped his character around driving. And there were some crazy car scenes. “I think I shocked a few people. There’d be these scenes that didn’t even call for sh*t and I would kind of overdo it and they’d like it, but no one’s hiring me for a car chase movie… they’d get whomever you’d get for that, Vin Diesel or Paul Walker, you’d hire those guys, so yeah, I knew that if I didn’t make it myself, no one was ever going to hire me no matter how much I told them I’m a good driver.”
Bradley Cooper, who plays the man Yul Perkins (Shepard) ratted out, was also among the many surprises to shock Annie. He was fantastic. Aside from Wedding Crashers you rarely see Cooper playing the bad guy. And unlike in Wedding Crashers, he has redeeming qualities that make his screen time enjoyable: gangster demeanor, blonde dreadlocks, red adidas track pants, and an intense compassion for dogs. And while he may be out to kill Yul, they were once close friends and their chemistry is hilarious.
Speaking of chemistry, the film is a rom com. So the most important chemistry is that between Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell. They’ve got it. It just so happens that they’ve been an item for quite a while in real life, and it shows. Their love was real, and their dialogue engaging.
The film was hilarious, and far better than what I was expecting from the trailer. I would go so far as to say it is one of this summer’s must-see-films, and that’s on account of chemistry among literally everyone, the completely fluid flow of the film, the awesome car chases, the perfect celebrity cameos, and the way that Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard will inevitably make you smile-all-big.