Start your engines . . .
HIT & RUN ( MA15+)
Directors: Dax Shepard, David Palmer Stars: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Joy Bryant, Tom Arnold
Fun game of trivial pursuits AN endearingly slapdash road movie, Hit & Run serves up the kind of fare that would have gone gangbusters at drive- ins in the 1970s.
There are car chases. A lot of car chases. And a lot of talk about what these vehicles are packing under the hood.
There is goofy comedy. Goofy violence. Goofy crooks. Goofy cops. And a few decidedly non- goofy- looking women.
Overall, it is a package that is fun to unwrap, even if there turns out to be little inside worth keeping.
The writer and co- director here, Dax Shepard, also has the starring role in
Hit & Run, playing a dude by the name of Charles Bronson.
If that handle sounds too bad to be true, there is a very good reason: Mr Bronson has been in witness protection for the past four years.
As the film begins, he has been living as far away as possible from his former home in Los Angeles, where he saw ( and possibly participated in) some gnarly criminal stuff.
Now it is time for Bronson to go back to LA. Not that he really has any choice. His girlfriend Annie ( Kristen Bell), a conflict resolution counsellor, has landed her dream job there.
Bronson loves the woman and must therefore tag along. By the way, Annie doesn’t really know why her partner has been in hiding all this time.
That’s about all the background info you need regarding Hit & Run.
Now for the foreground, which is dominated by Bronson’s hotted- up 1967 Lincoln Continental ( complete with a transplanted 700hp engine, petrolheads).
As soon as Charlie and Annie hit the open road, they are pursued by a vast array of interested parties determined to stop them from making it to LA.
These include a dangerously clumsy US Marshal ( Tom Arnold), Annie’s harmlessly obsessed ex ( Michael Rosenbaum) and a dreadlocked stoner with a death wish ( an effective piece of against- type casting for Bradley Cooper).
What follows is divertingly disposable chase- caper fodder of the highest order, a kind of Smokin’ Aces- on- wheels that never comes close to outstaying its welcome.