Hit & Run (R)

Comedy 100 August 22, 2012
By Nick Pinkerton
Hit & Run, a new action comedy engineered by faintly Muppety co-director/writer/star Dax Shepard, is as much about running mouths as running motors, and injects estrogen into the few remaining enclaves of American testosterone, muscle cars, and FM cock rock. A lead named "Charles Bronson" and the '67 Lincoln Continental that he takes out of mothballs should establish Hit & Run's cinematic pedigree, but this chase film—shot fast and cheap, using cars from gearhead Shepard's own garage—arranges a head-on collision between 1970s' individualism and 2012 p.c. While on the run from police, Charlie takes a dressing down from his girlfriend (Kristen Bell) for using the word "fag" as a synonym for "lame"; later, when he pulls up in a buggy, he's heckled from offscreen for not "going green," to which he responds, "It's biodiesel, friend." That even the criminal class have gone sensitive and finicky eco-conscious has some potential for comedy, but there's no single detail that might convince a viewer that the characters played by Dax Shepard and Bradley Cooper might ever have been compelled to steal for a living, and this alienates the crime picture from any social context or sense of actual danger, making it essentially a celebrity goof-off. The stunt driving warrants only passing mention, for it's never more than serviceable-- one wishes that Shepard and co-director David Palmer had spent a little more time studying Walter Hill and a little less on Hal Needham.
David Palmer, Dax Shepard Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth, Tom Arnold, Beau Bridges, Joy Bryant, Michael Rosenbaum Dax Shepard Andrew Panay, Nate Tuck, Kim Waltrip, Jim Casey Open Road Films

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