First Hit: Felt like it was put together in a hurry – low craftsmanship – yet it was enjoyable with a solid set of points.
Stay in the present. People can change. Forgiveness of oneself and others is important. And, how a person shows up to you now may be different from how they were in the past. I liked these points.
However, does this film make them well? Not really and that is the down fall of this film. Hit and Run is a title that is more about how the film was made than the action in film itself. Yul Perkins a.k.a. Charles Bronson (played Dax Shepard) is a man who in a witness protection program and guarded by a totally incompetent Sheriff, Randy Anderson (played by Tom Arnold).
Not sure why this character had to be this incompetent throughout the movie only to show up in the last few scenes as competent – but that is part of the problem of this film. Then you have Annie Bean (played by Kristen Bell) who is a very beautiful woman, living with Charles, and who is going to lose her job in a local college but gets a chance to head up a nonviolent communication school in LA. This causes Charles to talk about his real past, name, and why he is in a witness protection program.
Yul was once a bank robber with Alex (played by Bradley Cooper) and Neve (played by Joy Bryant) and drove the getaway car. Alex’s introduction into the film was one of the more interesting scenes of late. He loves dogs, doesn’t want them mistreated, and sees a dog who is unhappy in front of a store, makes a few comments to the owner, and from there, the violent tendencies of Alex are brought forth.
The story is about settling scores, forgiveness and making a new life. Shepard as writer, co-director and actor is obviously more than he can handle.
The film felt rushed in execution, the writing for some parts (Arnold’s and his own) was amateurish.
As an actor Shepard does not command the screen but does make other in a scene stand out. Bell is perky and refreshing but I’m not sure this was the part for her. She almost seemed out of place. Arnold was mostly unwatchable. His nervous quirkiness ended up on the screen as someone completely lost as to what to do. Cooper was actually the most interesting to watch. His relaxed way in how he expresses his violent nature in this part was very good and I liked him a lot. Bryant was OK as Alex’s sidekick who was once engaged to Perkins. Dax Shepard wrote the script and also co-directed the film with David Palmer. The script was unpolished and bumpy at times while the direction and whole feel of the film was rushed - sort of hit and run.
Overall: This mostly chase film is amateurish, however there were moments of laughter, action and wisdom.