Hit and Run

WRITTEN BY: Dax Shepard
DIRECTED BY: Dax Shepard, David Palmer
STARRING: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold
RATING: 3.5 stars

This is far and away the best thing Dax Shepard has ever done. Who knew he could write, direct and star in such a hilarious, entertaining film? It's full of racist, sexist, homophobic and stereotypical lines and yet it's not at all offensive - its just funny. He's also got all his mates on board to be in the film, including fiancé Kristen Bell. The pair have great on-screen chemistry, as does the entire cast, which makes this odd road trip film that extra special.

Charlie Bronson (Shepard) lives in a remote California town where he is in a witness protection program. (No spoilers here about why). But, when his girlfriend Annie (Bell), a commumity college teacher, is offered a job to head a program in Los Angeles, he decides that after four years of being away from the big city, it's time to return to give her the chance to fulfil her career dream. But Annie's ex-boyfriend Gil (Michael Rosenbaum) has never liked Charlie, so when he learns Charlie's true identity, Gil informs some not too friendly people from Charlie's past played by Bradley Cooper, Ryan Hansen, and Joy Bryant. The trio pursue the couple while bumbling federal Marshall Randy (Tom Arnold) tries to keep up.

My main criticism of the plot is that we don't really learn why or how Charlie changed and turned his life around. Is living in exile for four years and meeting a pretty, smart, blonde really enough to reform a person? There are a few dots not quite connecting there.

Despite this, there are enough consistent laughs to bring tears to your eyes during this film. I've heard some compare Hit and Run to True Romance. That's quite a compliment, but I think Shepard will happily take it.