In November of this year, Kristen Bell and current boyfriend Dax Shepard announced that they will soon be having a baby. The couple have been together since late 2007, and just currently starred together in the Cat & Mouse comedy “Hit & Run“. So their real life chemistry is clearly enough to sustain a healthy relationship, but how does that translate for the silver screen?
Dax Shepard plays Charles Bronson, a.k.a. Yul Perkins, a man who has been living in the witness protection program for the last four years with his girlfriend, Annie (Kristen Bell). Annie knows about the program but not so much about who he used to be in his previous life. His appointed U.S. Marshall, Randy (Tom Arnold), is a bumbling man who can’t seem to stop his gun from accidentally discharging. When Annie is offered a big job in Los Angeles, Charlie decides to risk his life by leaving the program just to get his girlfriend to Los Angeles for the job interview. Along the way, Randy, his old gang (Bradley Cooper, Joy Bryant, and Ryan Hansen), and Annie’s ex chase him, each one having a separate purpose. Charlie must find a way to get away from them and to get Annie to her interview. Charlie worries about Annie finding out about his past, but whenever someone has a secret in a movie, you can almost always guess how that will turn out.
The foundation for the film’s entire premise is an odd one for sure, but that is okay this time around because it is supposed to be. The tone of the film is often a very subtle one, whether that be for comedic scenes or otherwise. It never needed a complex story or plot, because a complex story would take away from the action and comedy of the pursuit. Unfortunately, what makes this film unique is also a downfall for a number of people who won’t understand it. They won’t understand it because some scenes that are funny for some people, aren’t funny to others. Just try to remember that this film isn’t obvious humor or is it universal comedy, so it isn’t for everyone.
There are parts in the movie where the comedy isn’t so subtle, like the relationship between Charlie’s appointed officer and himself. A lot of people will find that part hilarious and find the rest nonchalant. That is because the situation is funny, but not so much the dialogue. Most of the dialogue that was spoken by all characters was indirect and passive aggressive, which in some contexts can be funny, but sometimes not so much. It wasn’t what was said, however, that ultimately makes the viewer chuckle in “Hit & Run“. It is instead the off-the-wall humor associated with how many people were after him for their own individual reasons and all because he wants to get his girlfriend to a job interview.
There are a few mistakes in the film, factual and entertainment-based. First is the factual errors, and most of those revolve around the prospect of witness protection. First of all, the only people who are supposed to know you are in the program is your assigned officer and yourself. You can’t tell your girlfriend and you can’t call your family as this film would like to suggest. Why? Why else? The more people that know about your whereabouts, the higher chance your whereabouts will be found and you will either get tracked down and killed or you will have to be moved.
When we’re just talking about entertainment, it begins to get a bit obvious that the focus began to lean towards way too many car tricks. This isn’t the “Transporter” series where it is about the car, this movie had the subtle comedy, and it did a good job with it. It just needed to do a great job with it, but too much drowned that out. Finally, there were elements in the film that felt too easy, or felt like a cop-out. Seeing how those mostly showed up towards the end, it feels way too much like lazy and rushed writing.
What was nice about the film is that they did a pretty good job with the subtle comedy, for those that particularly enjoy that kind of humor. Also, too many movies that deal with a lot of cars feel doctored and fake and this film did a fine job producing a realistic atmosphere.
Finally, Dax and Kristen have incredible chemistry on-screen as well as off. It comes to no surprise that they have such harmony on the screen, and it is a wonder why there aren’t more films of them together as they are both established actors. You can check out “Hit & Run” when it comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Jan. 8!