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Capone says Dax Shepard's HIT & RUN is empty-headed carsploitation fun!!!

Published at: Aug. 24, 2012, 5:01 p.m. CST by Capone

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

I have very clear recollections of being inexplicably drawn to empty-headed carsploitation films. Actually, that's not entirely true. I wasn't "inexplicably" drawn to them; I knew exactly why I loved them. Because they allowed me 90 minutes or so to turn my brain off and concentrate on stupid jokes; barely there stories; and car stunts, wrecks and explosions. Although I didn't know his name at the time, stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham was the perpetrator of many of the films I loved, and Burt Reynolds was very often his partner in crime. The SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT and CANNONBALL RUN movies were the most popular, but there was also HOOOPER and STROKER ACE. Hell, Needham also did MEGAFORCE; how could I not love him?

I'm sure if I were a serious-minded critic back in the late '70s and early '80s, I might have found all sorts of reasons to bad mouth these empty-headed demolition derbies on film. But I wasn't even a teenager when most of these films were released. If it had Reynolds being cocky, pretty ladies by his side, and full-blown destruction of motor vehicles, I was on board. I'd like to think I have more discerning tastes today, but when HIT & RUN started up, I was taken back. Most of the jokes are DOA or are moderately amusing at best. There's a lot of screaming and overacting, but when those cars start rolling, my eyes widened and my enthusiasm was irrepressible.

HIT & RUN is the brainchild of Dax Shepard, who also wrote and co-directed the movie, as well as did all of his own driving stunts. I happen to like some of Shepard's more recent acting in the largely improvised film THE FREEBIE and the NBC series "Parenthood," and there's no denying that he has a nice chemistry with his real-life partner Kristen Bell. Shepard plays Charlie Bronson (named after the man who inspired the movie BRONSON, and not after Charles Bronson--see, I think that's a great reference), a man in witness protection engaged to Bell. The couple are debating possibly moving to Los Angeles so Bell can pursue a great teaching gig. Charlie agrees to drive her, and thus the road trip portion of the movie begins.

But certain criminal elements have it out for Charlie, including one in particular played by Bradley Cooper, who has spent several years in jail after being ratted out by Charlie (or so he thinks). The couple is also being chased by her ex-boyfriend (Michael Rosenbaum) and a federal agent (Tom Arnold). When you see the multi-car, high-speed chases kick in, you can almost hear the banjo music playing. While the bad guys are pretty ridiculous, what I enjoyed more were the conversations Shepard and Bell have while driving. They seem like actual-couple discussions/arguments/love talk, and they come across as a fairly charming duo.

Shepard co-directed HIT & RUN with David Palmer, following up their barely seen (for good reason) comedy BROTHER'S JUSTICE, featuring many of the same cast members as this film but few of the enjoyable qualities. Shepard clearly has an affection for the vehicles he's spinning out of control in this film, and the experience watching it made me wish I knew more about cars in general.

I'm not a big fan of having to turn your brain off to enjoy anything, but if that's what I have to do to get the maximum levels of enjoyment out of HIT & RUN, I'll make that leap. It's far from a great movie, but it fulfills a need for watching metal smash that I can truly only get out of a work like this. I'll admit it; I was giddy; I feel no shame about that. And I'm guessing a few of you will be right there with me on this one. Put on your crash helmet for some of the jokes that fall flat so fast they may injure, but when things pick up, I think you'll get a certain level of base-level entertainment out of HIT & RUN.

-- Steve Prokopy
"Capone"
capone@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • Aug. 24, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST

    2016 ?

    by the_frog

    What no 2016 review on this site yet ? Considering the ejaculation that occurred all over these pages when F911 came out I am hardly surprised though. Bring it on, libtards.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Saw a preview screening last week and really, really enjoyed it.

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    Good, honest dialogue between Shepard and Bell. Didn't even know they're married in real life, but it makes sense now that I know it. Great fun. Good way to kill 90 minutes, definitely.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST

    ...and I walk away shaking my head at the_troll...

    by LlGHTST0RMER

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 5:16 p.m. CST

    YEAAAAAAAA NO THANKS

    by pauduro

    I'm not a big fan of having to turn your brain off to enjoy anything, but if that's what I have to do to get the maximum levels of enjoyment

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    WTF

    by pauduro

    My other half of the comment dident came up O_o so il post ones more....... so yea saying that you have to turn you brain of to enjoy any thing....yea thats why the Crapdashians, the Jersey Assholes and some others are millionaires cus of people just turning there brains OFF and ENJOYING CRAP an loving it

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST

    I'm changing my TB name to Harrysnonexistantexpendables2review

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Me no likey Bradley Cooper.

    by 3D-Man

    Bradley Cooper stinky. Stinky like poo poo.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:42 p.m. CST

    3d-man...Cooper is great, but, it depends on the project.

    by brattyben

    He's excellent in Kitchen Confidential which ran on FOX a few years ago, and he really shone in Limitless. I like Dax Shepard...I'll check this out for a Redbox.

  • Aug. 24, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST

    harry's expendables 2 review

    by sunwukong86

    holy shit i love this movie, when my buddy Stallone called me and told me about it i knew i would love it. I haven't seen it yet but its amazing because Sly is my best buddy

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Capone's good at turning is brain off.

    by jah_kingdom

    But, I think he forgot how to turn it back on.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST

    I'll definitely watch this ...

    by reaper28

    Me and my mates used to watch Cannonball Run I and II and SatB I and II (III does not exist in MY dojo) almost weekly on rotation to the point we could pretty much quote the dialogue ... I'll definitely give this a go on Lovefilm/NetFlix ... I'll defy anyone to not laugh at the outtakes at the end, when Dom Deluise is trying to deliver his lines ... Oh and Capone, I've wondered for years how thick your skin has to be to be an AICN editor? Because I would have gone Dexter on some of the twats on here long ago ...

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    I might check this out...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Also 2016? Is that like 2012 for retards? And since 2012 was already made for retards that is really saying something. Also is everyone just fed up with the term "libtards"? I know I am because it's like when the dumbest person in the room tries calling out the smartest and everyone just feels weird that it's happening. Only white poor people in their 50's and up think liberals are stupid... Everyone else just kind of knows they are not as stupid as the other side that wants women to have no rights and china to control our economy. Anyway back on topic... I'll probably see Hit and Run but it will have to be during the week and the first showing of the day that is $6 otherwise no deal.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    reaper

    by DexterMorgan

    Anyone who uses the word twat in a TB is golden in my book. Hence, you are golden.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 12:24 p.m. CST

    I would have gone Dexter on some of the twats on here long ago

    by Xiphos_2

    you would have gone lame TV show on twats? How does that work you would bore then to death with bad writing and acting?

  • Too beholden. Repeal the Hollywood Tax Cuts. 20% of gate. Liberals have to pay their fair share.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 6:48 p.m. CST

    turn your brain off" TRANSLATION: "its not good.

    by Arcadian

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 9:50 p.m. CST

    2016 review as follows...

    by The_All_Dead

    Hate Obama for, well.....let's just say "various" reasons? Then you'll love it! it tells you everything you already thought,now if all that stuff is true or not who cares! 5 stars!!!!!!

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:41 p.m. CST

    More like Slow N Sluggish. Dumb movie.

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

    I saw it because Fandango had the wrong time posted for Bourne. What a stupid movie. If I hadn't read the credits I would have thought this was written by a woman. The majority of the movie is spent with the main character talking with his girlfriend. It felt like a complete chick movie especially with how lame the main male character talked. No guy talks like that unless it is a harlequin romance novel. Every now and then you have a car chase scene but I was seriously bored watching them. They all felt so choreographed and lifeless. Also, is Dax gay? I don't understand the constant gay references in this movie. It felt so out of place. What straight guy goes to a car chase movie and wants to hear a 5 minute montage about gay sex? There were a few laughs with (or at) Tom Arnold but the only one in the theater who really got into this movie were a couple of women. That in itself should tell you the target audience. Don't go into this movie expecting anything unless you are female or gay.

  • Aug. 25, 2012, 11:46 p.m. CST

    2016 review as follows...

    by Obi Wanna Cannoli

    Hate Obama for, well...let's say the fact he is black and you are a racist? Then you'll love it! It tells you everything you already heard from Fox, now if all that stuff is true or not who cares! The White Supremacist Gazette gives it 2 thumbs up and a solid cross burning. Any moron whose vote is swayed by these political agenda movies (left or right) deserves to be neutered or spayed.

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 12:48 a.m. CST

    wow....

    by The_All_Dead

    I actually looked this up on various white power websites and they all give it rave reviews!! Thats a fuckin laugh riot!!

  • Aug. 26, 2012, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Re: The Weekend B.O. Is In And ...

    by ArmageddonProductions

    ... HIT & RUN debuted at #10, apparently getting its ass handed to it by both 2016 (#8) and PREMIUM RUSH (premiering at #7). In fact, the only people feeling worse than Kristen Bell's agent right now are everyone involved in THE APPARITION (#12, didn't even make the B.O. list). Oh, and for all you Nolan haters: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES actually beat all of them this week (#5). So sayeth Box Office Mojo:</p><p> http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=main&yr=2012&wknd=34&p=.htm