Hit & Run (2012) review

‘Hit’ a smash

Todd Miller | Collegio Writer

When I think about action movies, explosive, angry cinematography and an angst-ridden, angry, desperate or antihero protagonist comes to mind. “Hit and Run,” however, gave me a nice reminder that action movies don’t need to be essentially visual noise. It presents the audience with a sympathetic and slightly non-traditional main character, in a romantic movie coated with an action movie shell.

“Hit and Run” is focused on Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard), who has been in the witness protection program for four years, and his relationship with his girlfriend, Annie Bean (Kristen Bell), a college instructor who teaches non-violent conflict resolution.

Annie gets a job opportunity at a college in Los Angeles, where Charlie had lived when he gave his testimony before being placed in the witness protection program.
Charlie decides to face the danger and drive Annie to L.A., which she had been refusing to do.

Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard in "Hit & Run."

Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard in “Hit & Run.”

Annie’s jealous ex-boyfriend, Gil Rathbinn (Michael Rosenbaum), tries to convince her not to go with Charlie. When he fails to do so, he contacts Alex Dimitri (Bradley Cooper), the person Charlie testified against. Charlie is also being pursued by Randy Anderson (Tom Arnold), the clumsy U.S. Marshall meant to keep tabs on him, and someone who doesn’t want Charlie to go to L.A. In addition, Charlie and Annie must confront the past Charlie left in L.A. four years earlier.
Though I was initially apprehensive for “Hit and Run,” the movie surprised me with interesting (although not great) comedy, and deep character development. As I’ve said, Charlie was a much better developed protagonist than I’ve seen from similar characters in other movies. Then again, his closest comparison may be the main character in “Drive,” who had no character at all.

I expected Charlie to turn into some average action-movie driver once the action started picking up, but he remained determined not to become the person he once was. He is also trying to keep hold of Annie, the love of his life. It makes the movie more like a romance that has been dressed up as an action movie, and the writers mixed the genres superbly.

And Charlie wasn’t the only developed character; I enjoyed watching most of the other characters because their history and personal interaction were enjoyably written. Almost every character had depth, something that requires extra work from the writers and something that isn’t done often.

The action in the movie wasn’t as overwrought as it could’ve been, so that also made it enjoyable. It seemed like more realistic action; there weren’t a bunch of explosions or too many near-death instances. Some of the stunts they pulled defied realistic expectations, but they didn’t push their limits into complete fantasy.
Overall, it made for an enjoyable movie.

The soundtrack was unusual, to say the least. Several songs seemed to have no particular fit in the film, moving beyond surreal into the realm of confusing, such as “Pure Imagination.” It wasn’t distracting, just ill-fitting at times.

“Hit and Run” isn’t a movie for everyone, but it can please varied tastes at the same time. I would describe it as a romance movie, displayed as an action movie and flavored with comedy. So if you don’t like one of those, the movie can still be enjoyed as one or both of the other two.

Leave A Comment