Entertainment Movies
Entertainment Entertainment Movies

'Hit and Run' review: Dopey action-comedy features a car with a missing engine. How fitting.

** (out of four)

Star/writer/co-director Dax Shepard’s “Hit and Run” possesses such a sheepish, hey-man-I’m-trying-here charm that deriding it feels a little like poking a puppy.

However, a chase movie should never be sluggish, and characters accidentally barging in on a hotel room full of naked elderly people doesn’t exactly qualify as inspired comedy. It’s more the result of a conversation going something like, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we included some naked people who the audience doesn’t want to see naked?”

Shepard (whose great work on “Parenthood” balances out a mostly dreadful movie career, save “Idiocracy”) plays Charlie, a man living in the shadow of a past that his girlfriend, Annie (Shepard’s real-life fiancé Kristen Bell), doesn’t know about. Charlie has spent four years in small-town California as part of the witness protection program, but a can’t-miss career opportunity for Annie in L.A. means Charlie will have to swallow any fear or logic and return to the city where the criminals he testified against want revenge.

Appearing as one of the crooks Charlie wants to avoid, Bradley Cooper sports dreadlocks and again suggests that any trace of his early charisma is now reserved for smiles on magazine covers.

Shepard and Bell have some sweet moments, and there’s something to be said for the rare onscreen discussion about insensitive language. (Charlie claims that he can use the three-letter F-word if he’s not referring to a person, to which Annie responds that he probably wouldn’t like it if she called her purse the N-word.) Yet the movie has a consistent sensation of being stalled, with its exploration of relationship dynamics muffled between bland chase sequences and too many jokes about an app called the Pouncer that helps gay people connect. That cheap stretch for laughs doesn’t quite coincide with Shepard and Bell’s statement that they’ll wait to get married until everyone can.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com. @mattpais

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Where Lake Michigan meets the Chicago River is three acres of overgrown weeds and shrubs. It is referred to by some as a "ghost park" because it is hidden in plain sight.

  • Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    There's a fire starting in my heart and it's making me realize it's been kind of a while since Adele released an album. Her last full-length "21" dropped in 2011 and I barely remember that year it feels so long ago. But now, there's some good news to fill our recently Adele-less lives and it's...

  • Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • Trump vows never to eat Oreos again, citing move from Chicago to Mexico

    Trump vows never to eat Oreos again, citing move from Chicago to Mexico

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeated his claim Tuesday evening that he would stop eating Oreos, citing the cookie maker's decision to close a plant in Chicago and move it to Mexico.

  • Let's talk about this new Justin Bieber song 'What Do You Mean?'

    Let's talk about this new Justin Bieber song 'What Do You Mean?'

    Don't get me wrong, Justin Bieber is still really embarrassing. He's the young pop star who recently said something only a 21-year-old would say, "Now being 21, and going through some hardships, I think you can hear that in my vocals." This is a guy who, last year at a charity gala benefiting AIDS...

  • Illinois lottery winners have to wait for payout due to budget impasse

    Illinois lottery winners have to wait for payout due to budget impasse

    After years of struggling financially, Susan Rick thought things were looking up when her boyfriend won $250,000 from the Illinois Lottery last month. She could stop working seven days a week, maybe fix up the house and take a trip to Minnesota to visit her daughter.

Comments
Loading
67°