Film: Hit and Run swings and misses


August 31st, 2012

Omaha, NE – What happens when a comedian moves from actor to actor/writer/director/stuntman? From the Movieha podcast, Ryan Syrek and Matt Lockwood take a look at Hit and Run.

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Ryan: From his time on TV’s Punk’d to smaller roles in movies like Baby Mama, Dax Shepard’s greatest achievement remains getting Kristen Bell to agree to make physical contact with him repeatedly and without compensation in real life.

Hit and Run stars Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell.

Matt: Shepard is so proud of this fact, he has leveraged his off-screen relationship back on the screen with Hit and Run, a movie he wrote, directed, stars in, and even did his own stunt driving in, using his own cars. And as I speak that sentence, I realize I will never have as much in this world as Dax Shepard has, so if you wouldn’t mind taking over for a minute, Ryan, I have to go have a good cry.

Ryan: The movie is a disaster spread across multiple genres, as Shepard plays a former getaway driver who is in witness protection. Bell plays his girlfriend who wants to move from the small town he’s safe in back to the big city, where the criminal he ratted out, played by a horribly wigged Bradley Cooper, is waiting for his revenge.

Matt: Thanks, I feel much better now. The biggest problem with the movie beyond sending me into a personal depression is the uneven tone. While some great movies manage to straddle multiple genres, it takes a grace and skill you won’t find in a man named Dax. So we get car chases that are pointless and unthrilling, Tom Arnold doing slapstick over and over again, and Bradley Cooper doing the laziest, most uninspired over-the-top bad guy I’ve ever seen.

Ryan: What bothered me the most was that this movie behaves like it thinks it’s clever. Take for example the discussion between Bell and Shepard when she chides him for using the word “fag” as a synonym for lame. It’s a great point, and it’s even well said. Unfortunately, it comes about an hour after the introduction of a gay character who talks about promiscuous sex and acts like a raging stereotype. The former does not absolve the film of the latter.

Matt: Make no mistake, nobody here is saying anything bad about Kristen Bell, the most adorable actress to ever weep over a sloth on daytime television, but the rest of the movie is just a meandering train wreck that alternates between boring and stupid.

Ryan: What’s sad is that I miss movies like the one this one wanted to be. I miss the True Romances, the noir love stories that intertwine comedy, romance, and action, but this one fails on each of those counts. Basically, Hit and Run, is a swing and a miss.

Editorial note: The Movieha podcast is produced in partnership with The Reader and is available at

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