Hit & Run | Movie review
Power couple Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell star in a sputtering road comedy.
Love means never having to say you’re sorry. Just to be safe, though, Dax Shepard should probably apologize to Kristen Bell, his real-life fiancée, for roping her into appearing in this sputtering jalopy of a road comedy. The Punk’d punk and Veronica Mars star get cozy in a pillow-talk prologue, but don’t be fooled: Self-love is the real driving force here, with star-writer-codirector Shepard—who looks like Zach Braff’s scruffier older brother—casting himself in the swinging-dick role of an ex-wheelman lying low in the Witness Protection Program. How badass-with-a-heart-of-gold is this guy? He risks blowing his cover just to speed his girlfriend (Bell) to a job interview in Los Angeles. Their transportation: a customized 1967 Lincoln Continental, ogled by the filmmaker’s camera with so much fetishistic affection that his leading lady should be jealous.
This is the exact sort of misguided star vehicle Shepard was poking fun at in his forgotten mock-doc from 2010, Brother’s Justice. That film revolved around Dax (as himself) trying to guilt his celebrity friends into appearing in a vanity project. He seems to have done the same thing here, except not as a joke. Tom Arnold wildly overacts—even for him—as a trigger-happy U.S. Marshal, while a dreadlocked Bradley Cooper plays an ineffectual villain straight out of a Farrelly brothers movie. You really feel for Bell, smiling through the cutesy couple-banter and rank prison-rape jokes. If this marks the start of a Hepburn-Tracy arrangement with her future hubby, let’s hope she gets to pick the next outing.