I was talking about Hit and Run with a friend on the phone and said “Well you know Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are a couple in real life” and after a few moments they replied “I had no idea Christian Bale was gay.” I’m not mentioning this because I think it’s funny so much as I feel it illustrates the tendency of the average person to jump to conclusions based on misapprehension. Also Hit and Run is the kind of movie that contains gay humor aimed at hetero audiences.

Shepard, who also wrote and co-directed, plays a bank robber in the witness protection program that exposes his identity in order to drive his girlfriend (Bell) 500 miles to a job interview. The other director David Palmer helmed a Shepard starrer (Brother Justice) that features many of the same actors on display in Hit and Run: Bradley Cooper, Nate Tuck, and Tom Arnold. Bell and Kristin Chenoweth are the femmes although Chenoweth’s role amounts to very little other than talking trash.

Hit and Run is distributed by Open Road Films, which is a joint venture involving movie chains Regal and AMC. Open Roads thus has the ability to open their films on a guaranteed number of screens without the typical high dollar layout for advertising used by major studios. Some other recent Open Road releases include The Grey and Killer Elite.

Hit and Run has some solid comedy chops but it also comes to a screeching halt when it alters its muscle car action mode to concentrate on the dialogue between Bell and Shepard, mostly consisting of sensitivity training for the latter. Much of the time Hit and Run displays exciting car chase sequences only to mix it up with very over-the-top humor that isn’t really funny. I’d have preferred Hit and Run if it stuck to its 70s exploitation vibe and was more Dirty Mary Crazy Larry and less gross-out comedy.

— Michael Bergeron