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Hit & Run - Film Review

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by Louis Fameli (subscribe)
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Go for a rollicking cross-country ride in Hit & Run

Hit & Run is an action/comedy film following the story of Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard, Parenthood) as he takes his girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) to an interview for her dream job in Los Angeles. The problem is, Charlie is in witness protection and going from Milton, where he and Annie live, to LA (his old home) could cause problems when trying to keep his identity a secret.

While their journey starts out relatively easily, things are soon complicated by Annie's jealous ex-boyfriend Gil (Michael Rosenbaum, Smallville) who is convinced Annie is making a mistake and has contacted Charlie's former friend and bank thief Alex Dimitri (Bradley Cooper, The Hangover) in the hope of getting Charlie out of the picture. Alex, shown to be a friend to animals but not as nice toward humans, has his own reasons for wanting revenge on Charlie, but to share them here would be giving away spoilers.

Adding to Charlie and Annie's worries is US Marshall Randy (Tom Arnold, True Lies), who is also chasing them across the country. While Randy is the probably the most bumbling US Marshall east of Los Angeles, protecting Charlie is his only ticket to a better job after a series of mishaps and mistakes and he is determined to catch up to Charlie and Annie.

On top of all this, as they get closer to LA and with Gil, Randy and Charlie's old gang on their tails, Annie starts asking more questions about Charlie's past. This causes added pressure for the pair, as the truth is not exactly as Annie would have hoped.

All of these various scenarios collide to set the scene for a multi-tiered chase across America filled with mayhem and chaos as each party tries to catch the couple and seek out their own justice. Viewers are treated to Charlie and Annie's rollicking race against not only time, but also Charlie's past and all the characters in it.

Hit & Run is well paced, picking up speed with each car chase but never reaching the point where viewers will be confused about who is following whom and why. This is something not all films of this type can achieve, and it should be commended for not getting tied-up in itself.

The film itself is thoroughly slick and modern, managing to seamlessly interweave a Facebook scene and multiple social media references into the plot. Additionally, keen eyed viewers will note the entire cast are toting iPhones in a nod to the current times.

Hit & Run Film Review
Image from Hit & Run (2012): Photo by Jeffery Reed - Open Road Films

As the two leads, Bell and Shepard (both shown above, the latter also wrote the film's screenplay and directed with David Palmer) have a genuine on-screen chemistry that is sweet without being over-the-top. Whether they are discussing big issues such as morality or just teasing each other, they are believable. In fact, it will come as no surprise to viewers that they are engaged off-screen.

Hit & Run Film Review
Image from Hit & Run (2012): Photo by Jeffery Reed - Open Road Films

Elsewhere in the film, Kristin Chenowith (Glee) is hysterical as Diane, Annie's sassy self-appointed mentor with a razor-sharp tongue, while Cooper seems to relish playing Alex, who for the most part looks ridiculous with dreadlocks, wearing yellow sunglasses and bright red sweatpants. Also, keep an eye out for a few other cameos from well-known actors (again, to share them here would mean unveiling spoilers).

Final Word: Viewers get the impression the cast had a lot of fun making Hit & Run, as it shows through in all the performances. Overall, the film offers a fun cross-country ride that manages to blend high-speed car chases with some believable romantic-comedy moments. Suspend your disbelief and get taken along a journey filled with hilarious (and sometimes crude) situations and some deeper revelations about how people can change.


Another angle: While the crude humour is largely well done, a few scenes are likely not to please the faint hearted among moviegoers. Those people may want to speed past Hit & Run.

Hit & Run is out in Australia September 6, Rated MA15 .

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Why? Enjoy a fun cross-country ride.
Where: In Cinemas
Cost: Check with local cinema
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