Starring Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Joy Bryant, Kristen Chenoweth and Tom Arnold. Written by Dax Shepard. Directed by Dax Shepard and David Palmer. Produced by Adam Blum, Paul Bojic, Paul Bunch, Jim Casey, Audrey Loggia, Tony Loguzzo, Erica Murray, Andrew Panay, Nate Tuck, Kim Waltrip and Howard Young
Hit and Run may not be the first movie on your list of must-sees this summer, but that doesn't mean it should be overlooked. A hybrid of action, comedy and romance, this movie disregards any and all genre limitations, making it unlikely you've seen a movie like this before. Plus, it takes actors we're used to seeing in a certain way and throws them out of their comfort zone, which makes for an interesting experience – Shepard is a sweet, loving boyfriend and Cooper is a dreadlocked, tracksuit-wearing ex-con.
Everything gets turned upside down when Annie (Bell) has to leave her home and travel to Los Angeles for an interview and her boyfriend, Charlie Bronson (Shepard) decides to take her regardless of the fact that he's under witness protection and was instructed never to return to L.A., where the crime occurred. Along the way, their relationship hits some rough patches when more about his shady past slowly surfaces and trust issues develop. And things only get worse when Charlie's old gang (Cooper and Bryant) catch wind that he's back in town and everything unravels into one big mess of a reunion. The couple winds up having to run for their lives, which offers the opportunity to include some pretty intense chase scenes and show off the different cars.
Side performances from Chenoweth as Debbie, Annie's crazy counselor and Arnold as a federal marshall that protects Charlie brighten up this movie and are effective in bringing the comedy back when it gets too heavy. The writing sometimes falls flat, with really hilarious moments and really dull moments and nothing of the in-between. Clever casting makes up for this, though, and Shepard and Bell are charming and convincing together, as they should be considering they're a couple off-screen as well. What makes it worth watching, however, is the happy medium that Shepard has found with his character – he's silly and ironic, getting his share of jokes in, but is also relatable and someone we can completely identify with and want to succeed in the end.