Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

August 31, 2012

Dead end

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 11:36 pm

August 31, 2012

Cast: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Michael Rosenbaum, Kristin Chenoweth

Director: Dax Shepard & David Palmer

Hit & Run, starring real-life couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, has been described as an action comedy, but it’s neither very funny, nor are the car chases particularly thrilling.

Shepard (from the popular American TV show Parenthood) writes, co-directs, and stars in this dull film as Charlie, a reformed getaway driver living in a small town in California with his college professor girlfriend, Annie (Bell). She doesn’t know about his past, but the secrets come tumbling out during a road-trip to LA, during which they’re pursued by Annie’s jealous ex-boyfriend (Michael Rosenbaum), Charlie’s revenge-seeking bank-robber partner who he had arrested (a dreadlocked Bradley Cooper), and a bumbling US Marshal (Tom Arnold) assigned the job of keeping an eye on Charlie.

Much of the dialogue in this film sounds unscripted, which is only occasionally a good thing. It leads to some long, tedious conversations between Charlie and Annie that are awkward and frankly boring. We’re meant to find Charlie endearing, and his ignorant political incorrectness cute, so his racial stereotyping and homophobia are played out for laughs. Alas it’s not always funny, except for a scene in which Bradley Cooper’s character reveals a terrible incident that occurred with him in jail, which Charlie responds to with sheer lunk-headed naivete that’s sure to inspire some guilty laughs.

The film’s final act is an orgy of car chase scenes that are done with little imagination or originality. At one point three cars go round and round in circles. Much like this film does.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Hit & Run. It’s only sporadically funny. You’ll wonder how films like this get made.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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