Plot: What’s it about?
I had little hope for Hit and Run when I saw the previews for it. The trailers simply didn’t do much for me. I’ve never been a huge Dax Shepard fan either. He not only stars in this film, but also wrote it and Co-Directed it along with David Palmer. Much to my surprise, however, the film is a lot of fun. Shepard stars as Yul Perrkins (A.K.A. Charles Bronson). He is in witness protection after a robbery gone wrong. He lives with his girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell). She is a professor at a university and she’s told by her supervisor that she must travel to the University of California. Annie has a degree in conflict resolution and they are starting a new program in California. It doesn’t take much to convince Yul to take her there to make her interview. Yul’s under the protection of U.S. Marshal Randy Anderson (Played by Tom Arnold of all people). Arnold gets a lot of mileage here. He’s such a nervous wreck that you wonder how he ever became an agent to begin with.
Hit and Run is a road picture and like the best of them, part of the fun is the journey not the destination. Once they hit the road is when the film really takes off. There are a few surprises along the way. Bradley Cooper (looking ridiculous with a head full of dreadlocks) shows up and is after Yul after he put him away in prison. Annie’s Ex-Boyfriend Gil (Michael Rosenbaum) is also on their tail. He doesn’t trust Yul and wishes to protect Annie. There are plenty of fun cameos along the way, including David Koechner and Beau Bridges. The pacing, acting, and direction are all sharp here. The film brought back memories of road pictures from many years ago, the kind we don’t see a lot of any more. Not everything works in the film, however, there’s a scene involving a character being reprimanded for buying his dog dry dog food. This is more cruel than funny, but it’s a slight misstep in an otherwise solid film. I enjoyed many of the asides as well. The Shepard character is neurotic and has a severe case of OCD. Also, what would any road picture be without a classic car? Yul drives a 1967 Lincoln Continental. It’s obvious why the filmmakers used this as most modern vehicles don’t have the appeal of classic cars. The film does get a bit wild in the last half, but it’s forgivable since there’s so much buildup. It’s not as if these characters are simply going to talk things over like logical people. The film was overlooked in theaters last fall, but is well worth a look.
Video: How’s it look?
While it’s certainly not a flashy film, Hit and Run still has an attractive transfer. We have a 2.40:1 AVC encoded transfer. Colors are accurate and well saturated. A lot of scenes take place during the day and that’s represented very well here. Flesh tones are warm and accurate and the black levels are deep and strong. Detail on the actor’s faces are also strong. Stubble comes across in fine detail and the highlights and dreads in Cooper’s hair also show strong detail. I couldn’t detect any grain or other flaws, this is a fine transfer from Universal.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS 5.1 HD track is solid. Dialogue is always loud and clear. The rear channels don’t kick in as often as you might expect, but when they do they come in strong. There are plenty of car chases and gunfire in the film and the track really surrounds us (as it should). The detail of the 700-Horsepower engine in Yul’s car is quite intense. Background noise and detail also comes across nicely here. This track will please fans of the film just fine.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This is where the disc comes up short. Universal usually does a good job with supplements, but this disc is lacking. We get three short featurettes. “Street Legal” (2 Minutes), “Run and Gun” (3 Minutes), and lastly “Love on the run” (3 Minutes). You can probably guess by the length that none of these offer much depth at all. We hear from the cast and crew about the plot, love angle, and the cars used in the film. This is all pretty standard stuff and is very promotional . Rounding out the extras are some Deleted Scenes (19 Minutes). These are decent and offer a few funny improvisations as well. Since this is a combo pack, we also get a DVD copy of the film and a digital copy insert.