Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

‘Hit & Run’ Review: Chemistry Hits On-Screen in Action Rom-Com

There are countless celebrity couples in Tinseltown: Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt; Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux; Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks; Annette Bening & Warren Beatty; and Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard.

Bell & Shepard have been together since 2007 and as of January 2010 are engaged to be married. On Howard Stern, Shepard stated that he and Bell would not be married until same sex marriage was legal in California. When a couple as cute as Bell & Shepard are off-screen, one giddy film critic can only hope their chemistry carries on to the big screen, as well. When I first learned that the couple were to co-star in a film that Shepard wrote and co-directed, I had high expectations for the “romantic-comedy” element of the film.

Charlie Bronson (Shepard) has been in the witness protection program for four years in small-town California. He and Annie (Bell) have been together just under a year. Annie is a professor at a local college, but is looking for something better to put her doctorate to work and Charlie is not employed.

When Annie’s boss Debbie (Kristin Chenoweth) sets up an interview in Los Angeles for a better position, Annie is thrilled. There’s just one small problem: Charlie can’t go to LA.

Charlie testified in a case of a bank robbery that turned into murder and was put into the witness protection program. Randy (Tom Arnold) is the goofy U.S. Marshal assigned to his case and it’s his job to make sure Charlie stays put. When Annie tells Charlie that the interview is in LA, he pouts for a night, then wakes up the next day with the decision to drive her to LA in his tricked-out 1967 Lincoln Continental (Shepard’s own), even if that means blowing his cover.

When the crew behind the bank robbery, including Charlie’s old buddy Alex (an awesome role for Bradley Cooper), is tipped off on Charlie’s location, they head to find Charlie with guns blazing. After Charlie’s testimony, Alex was put in jail for eight months and not-s0-good things happened to him there.

Cooper is amazing in this role, playing the thugged-out criminal, something we never pictured “2011’s Sexiest Man Alive” could do. Arnold plays the silly U.S. Marshal well and it’s fun to watch him wreck his mini-van 20 times. But the real treat here is to see Bell and Shepard’s wondrous chemistry translate on-screen. The two are so damn cute, it’s almost impossible not to root for them.

You can tell that the filmmakers and cast had a fun time making the movie and it certainly rubs off on the audience. Surprisingly detailed action sequences, a quirky romance and lots of exhilarating car chases make “Hit & Run” a winner.

“Hit & Run” opens nationwide August 22, 2012.
Reviewed by Lauren Veneziani

Kevin McCarthy of GeekNation sits down with Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard and Tom Arnold.

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