By Megan Bianco
An endearing ex-criminal, his pacifist girlfriend, a bumbling US Marshal, a white bank robber with dreads and a gay cop are the primary characters of Dax Shepard’s slapstick comedy Hit & Run. It’s strange to think how an original cast member of MTV’s “Punk’d” not only went on to become a successful comedic actor, but now a legitimate filmmaker. In his second attempt both in front and behind the camera, he casts real life fiancée Kristen Bell, “Parenthood” co-star Joy Bryant, Tom Arnold and Bradley Cooper.
When ex-criminal Charlie (Shepard), stationed in a small California town by the Witness Protection Program, discovers his girlfriend Annie (Bell) has the opportunity to work her dream job in L.A., he risks everything to move there with her. But along the way, Annie’s stalker ex-boyfriend (Michael Rosenbaum), a US marshal (Arnold) assigned to watch Charlie and Charlie’s former partners in crime (Cooper and Bryant) all start to follow his tail.
Shepard not only wrote the screenplay for Hit & Run, but also co-directed with David Palmer and co-edited with Keith Crocket. Bell was also a producer on the film. Hit & Run goes all out in terms of raunchy jokes and use of elaborate car chase scenes, but while some of the scenes are rather funny, one wonders if Shepard really just made the film to see how many car shots and borderline offensive jokes he could fit into one movie.