I’m a huge Kristen Bell fan ever since I got sucked into the Veronica Mars series about two years ago. The feisty blonde knows how to play a variety of roles and characters that I’ve fallen in love with, not only for beauty but also for charisma and spunk. However, when I saw her latest movie entitled, Hit and Run, I was a little shocked that she not only agreed to act in this movie, but produce it as well. A film titled after a common vehicle crime does not sound like a hit to me, and from the trailers I wasn’t really excited about this film. Regardless this reviewer still braved the uncertainty of the trailers and dove into the movie hoping for a surprise. Did I get it? Read on to find out.
Hit and Run is essentially about a man named Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard) who testified against his fellow bank robbers after a complication with one of their jobs. Being a snitch lands Charlie in the witness protection program under the eye of accident prone/foul mouthed Randy (Tom Arnold) and into the loving arms of Annie (Kristen Bell). Charlie’s past catches up with him though when his old buddy and partner in crime (Bradley Cooper) returns with a four year vendetta and a hungering for some ill gotten money.
Despite this clichéd storyline, I was hoping for a lot of laughs and some good chase scenes that the trailers showed glimpses of. Unfortunately neither of my wishes came true. Instead of comedy I could relate to, I was subjected to a variety of vulgar jokes, and cursing rants that was probably 75% of the reason for the R rating it got. Most of the comedy in this film was on racial slurs, insulting stereotypes, and trying to find clever uses of saying rather offensive words. If you’re a fan of hearing Cooper and Shepard screaming the f word and insulting practically every race, then this movie is right up your alley. However, there was a ray of sunshine amongst the dreary proverbial slang and that was Arnold’s character. The former Roseanne star wasn’t afraid to drop F bombs in front of little kids, and unlike the trailers, this movie didn’t leave out a single word. What entertained me instead was the situational comedy that Randy ran into throughout the movie. From his first appearance, Randy seems to have car and gun trouble and although the first accident is a little over exaggerated, I still laughed. As the movie continues, the accidents continue to get wackier and are usually well timed to provide some comedic relief from the boring pace of the movie. Albeit this wasn’t Arnold’s greatest acting role, his character was about the only thing good in this movie.
The second desire of a good chase scene was also dashed in this film. Sure there were some cool swerves through traffic, some impressive drifting, and a pinch of close calls, but for the most part the chases were rather boring. Most of these chases lacked the adrenaline pumping action that I’ve become accustomed to, and even with the metal and rock music playing I just couldn’t get into the scene. I think the only that impressed me were some of the beautiful cars involved, as both classic and modern attempted to wow the audience. Despite the beauty, the team failed to really impress the audience and me and actually made a few people leave.
Is there anything else worth reporting on this movie? One thing is that Kristen Bell still does a good job playing her role, though it’s a little more serious and less entertaining. Her character is more of a tool that drives Charlie’s actions and also raises some “ethical” dilemmas that are attempting to get the audience think. Annie and Charlie’s relationship is also a sweet, though rather bland attempt at putting some romance in this movie. If you don’t care about that kind of stuff, then guys who have a crush on her will like her beauty in the various tough girl t-shirts and tank tops. Female audience members will also get their money’s worth seeing Shepard in his tight shirts, though his acting is a little bland and emotionally challenged from his earlier roles. Aside from this cast though, there is a nice scene of Cooper standing up for a dog that animal lovers will like, but you can just YouTube that scene later and save yourself some money. The camera work and editing for this film are decent as well, but there were still a lot of things they could have cut from this movie, which would have made it shorter, but it was already short enough to be considered for theaters.
Hit and Run is essentially a filler for chase scene junkies as they wait for the next Fast and Furious movie. For this reviewer though, there is not enough sustenance though to make me recommend seeing this film in theaters as it really fails to deliver. Yes there are some funny moments here and there, and Kristen Bell is still quite a delight, but you can watch one of her old movies and be just as satisfied. The scores for this movie are below:
Movie Overall: 4.5-5.0