People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different. In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all. Read on!
Honestly, literally one second prior to this film’s credits rolling, I’d never heard of it.
I didn’t mean to see Hit & Run. No, really. I convinced a friend that it was important enough for us both to see David Koepp’s fixed-gear action flick Premium Rush, and that he needed to race back from his long distance bike ride to join me in the inanity. He arrived moments before the lights dropped, post bike-accident, sweaty and a little bloody but excited that he’d made it in time to see Premium Rush. The theater went dark, the first image went up and it was of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard getting romantic in a bed, and it was quite clear that we’d come to the wrong movie. Coming to a wrong movie can be a debilitating process, you’ve signed yourself up for a film, and you can be a dick and walk out, bereft of any cinematic experience, or you can sit and watch and hope that this is one of those rare moments where the film you’ve stranded yourself seeing is going to blow, your, mind.
To my surprise, for 3/4 of Hit & Run I was totally won over by the sweet story of a former bank-robber, turned small-town boy who is forced to break parole and take his love cross-country. The chemistry between Shepard and Bell is at the heart of the film, and it’s strong – honest and open – and the banter they have seems rooted in a deep-felt love. Bell is as attractive and charming as she always has been, and here’s hoping that a slew of small films like this will give her a chance at truly mainstream success. What Shepard and crew have created here feels almost like a mumblecore action film, with emotions and off-beat characters taking precedent over action scenes. Shepard clearly has a enjoyment of cars though, and the film is peppered with them doing cool things, which at first (the slow-mo spinning wheels and smoke) are entertaining but devolve into needless filler. This is something that might be said about the whole film, what starts sweet and small and quite possibly great, but then breaks down with the additions of Bradley Cooper as a dreadlocked gangster and a variety of useless car chases. It’s a sweet film at it’s heart though, earnest and loving in a very real feeling way, but it’s clearly a first effort. What I will say is this – the thought of a Dax Shepard directed film was something I thought I’d always cringe at, and leaving Hit & Run I was actually curious, expectant even, to see what Mr. Shepard might do next.
Seeing movies blind is always an experience – sometimes even a good one.