A postmodern road movie/rom-com caper from the wickedly self-effacing mind of writer/co-director/star Dax Shepard.
"You’re not concentrating," says Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard). "This is the only moment you need to be worried about, there’s no yesterday, there’s no tomorrow, there’s just right now."
Charlie’s girlfriend, Annie (Kristen Bell), frets about the future: with her dead-end job at backwoods Milton Valley College about to be retrenched, a better-suited post in LA might strain her relationship with Charlie, himself exiled in Milton on a Witness Protection Programme.
Charlie, however, is more concerned about the past catching up with him as he drives Annie to LA in his custom-modified '67 Lincoln. Pursued by a Federal Marshall, Annie’s ex, two cops and a vengeful crew of one-time fellow bankrobbers, this former getaway driver will have to forge a new, more honest 'now' with Annie.
Writer/co-director/star Shepard is himself a car enthusiast, so you might expect this cross-country caper to be all about the roar of the engine and the thrill of the chase. But Annie hilariously derails this hyper-masculine trajectory with her feminine perspective.
While she may initially be excited to come along for the ride, she also observes the casual homophobia in Charlie’s discourse with his fellow (male) petrol heads, the 'certain type of person' attracted to his vehicle ("Let’s just call them 'rapist'") and the absurdity of his protective pseudonym.
Thus Hit and Run mocks the very male motor fetishism that it also celebrates. Meanwhile, a wickedly schlubby homoerotic subplot between the Marshall and Sheriff further undermines all the oldschool machismo to which Charlie half-heartedly reverts. Charlie’s car may be preserved from the '60s, but much as he will soon be forced to ditch it for a newer model, this film updates the sensibilities of the classic American road movie for an altogether more postmodern age.
All road movies involve a journey with digressions, but here the plot is secondary to surreally quirky characters, jaw-droppingly sharp lines and some Tarantino-like excursions of dialogue on such pressing questions as by which ethnic group’s members would it be least emasculating to be butt-fucked in jail? So concentrate on, and laugh at, a film that always idles in the moment.
Boys and their cars...
...and this film mocks both, hilariously.
This whipsmart postmodern rom-com caper rides a fine line between road-and date-movie.