Dax Shepard writes, directs, and stars in this tale of a former getaway driver in witness protection under the unobtrusive name of Charles Bronson. In his former life as Yul Perkins, he testified against his bankrobbing accomplice Alex (Bradley Cooper) and sent him to prison. Now his girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell) needs a ride to LA for an important job interview and Yul decides to risk driving her, against the advice of his witness protection contact Randy (Tom Arnold). Meanwhile, Annie’s jealous ex Gil (Michael Rosenbaum) has put two and two together and gets in touch with Alex.
What follows is part hilarious road trip, part romantic comedy, part car fetishist film. Shepard’s script is very smart, full of embellishments and little moments that give everyone in the cast more depth than you would expect. Indeed, this is the best work I have seen in some time by Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Michael Rosenbaum, David Koechner, and Kristin Chenoweth. Shepard and Bell are charming as the stars, working on their relationship issues while surrounded by insanity. The chase sequences and the succession of cars commandeered by Yul will please anyone who enjoys films like the original Gone in 60 Seconds, Vanishing Point, or Two-Lane Blacktop.
There is nothing I love more than a pleasant surprise when I go to the movies. Hit and Run is one of the best pictures of the year so far. Be sure you catch it while you can.