Hit & Run

Some movies give me hope. Just, generally. I mean, that you can still mix a movie up from just fast, bad cars and a bunch of happy-go-lucky characters who can’t really ever die. But maybe I should preface this by saying I’m  much more of a Cannonball Run/Smokey and the Bandit/Deathproof kind of fan than I am of all the Fast and the Furiouses. Just because those cute little cars in F&tF, I’m sure they’re fast and somehow desirable, but they’re just not bad. Want to know one of the reasons I finally cashed in my smart phone? Because the gallery part was just way, way too full of pictures of cars. Especially El Caminos. Like, every parking lot I cruis, there’s another car I need to have on my phone to study later. It got to where I was looping back around five miles, so, yeah, I get along better with no smartphone these days.

But, this movie, Hit and Run. I don’t even remember the trailer anymore, but I do remember that when I saw it, I was sold, that I knew I was going to be there opening day. And I’m so glad it was. The last time I fell out of my seat in a theater from laughing? It was What About Bob?, I’m pretty sure. And the last time I nearly threw up from laughing? Whichever Austin Powers had the (non-)fecal matter coffee. For Hit and Run, I nearly threw up from laughing. And I did slump out of my seat.

And, yeah, I hit some of the reviews before sliding into the theater, I don’t know why. Pretty much they were all in unison in panning Tom (Thom?) Arnold’s character. Which, yeah, dude’s ridiculous. But guess what? I don’t go to the theater to see real people on the screen. I go to laugh, to scream, to grip my armrests. So, yeah, Arnold’s character takes bumbling to a new and particularly dizzy height. And I’d have it no other way. Without him setting the tone, we’d have gone into other scenes half-suspecting we needed to take them seriously.

And, the cars. Man. Remember Green Hornet’s ride a year or two ago? Or those lowslung cop cars in In Time? This particular Lincoln Continental would have given either of them a run. And most anything else that pulled beside it. I fall in love with cars every day, yeah. But this is another one I’m in love with. Unhelpable. Once you see that car, you want that car.

But, I’m hardly reviewing: take a witness protection dude, blow his cover, give him relationship issues and then a place he has to drive to in T minus no time, throw in some wardrobe changes (where what you change is serious rides) and you’ve got Hit and Run. And Bradley Cooper in dreadlocks, and Kristen Bell still being Sarah Marshall (nobody does it better), and an everyman kind of main character named Charles Bronson, played by Dax Johnson (who I guess I’m going to have watch for, as he really sold this role). It’s kind of like The Gauntlet, but with more of a Running Scared look.

And, for my money, anyway, this is how you make a movie featuring a getaway driver as lead. I mean, would we have accepted Hooper if there hadn’t been some set-piece car-stunts? It’s the same with wheelmen: deliver them and a bunch of people chasing them to some completely improbable and particularly convenient airfield in the middle of nowhere, and say nobody’s leaving here until we’ve had to swap in some in some new rear rubber at least twice. Then leaven it all with roll-on-the-floor humor.

So, I guess this isn’t really a review, it’s a something like a non-celebrity endorsement. If you like all the same movies I love, then this might just be the last of the good summer movies for you. It is for me, anyway. I mean, surely I’ve seen some better stuff, but right now I can’t recall it.


Author: SGJ