This Dax Shepard comedy action is fun for a few minutes, but that still leaves about ninety minutes of movie to slog through....
Universal / 101 Minutes / 2012 / Rated R / Street Date: January 8, 2013
I'm glad Dax Shepard gave it a shot. The guy is a reliable comic standard, and could probably have just taken role after role (and made a lot of money doing so), but he decided to take a bit of an off-ramp to write and directed his own movie, the loopy Hit and Run. He cobbled together an impressive slate of onscreen talent - Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper - and did what he could to bring his vision to life.
The movie itself is the same kind of pulpy action picture we've seen a billion times. Shepard himself plays Yul Perkins, a participant in the Witness Protection Program who has found a quiet life with a hot ladyfriend (Bell) that keeps him off the radar of the baddies who still harbor interests in offing him. This, of course, stops being the case about fifteen minutes in, and as Shepard and Bell make a trek to sunny Los Angeles, the you-know-what hits the fan.
Genre filmmaking like this doesn't live and die in terms of freshness - there's a reason action cliches are action cliches - but while it definitely feels like Shepard has done his homework in terms of researching gritty cat-and-mouse thrillers to bring Hit and Run to life, the movie really has nothing to say. The writer-director and his team give the impression that they're having a lot of fun bringing Hit and Run to life, but they're the only ones getting their rocks off.
The movie made a little money during its summer-doldrums release last year, and it'll probably have a moderate presence in terms of home video, but Hit and Run will dissolve quickly into the ether. Speaking as a bona fide sucker for movies like this one, I can't say that I had a horrible time experiencing the picture, but I also can't argue its value. Watching Bell, Shepard, and Cooper have a blast is fun for maybe ten minutes, but that still leaves an hour and a half of real estate - it ain't pretty.
Video: How Does the Disc Look?
Hit and Run doesn't get a whole lotta love on this 2.40:1 1080p transfer, but there are quality elements here, nevertheless. There are definitely examples of aliasing, banding, and compression artifacting that pop up - for a movie only a few months old, that seems unforgivable - but color quality is often striking, and detail is pretty darned sharp, for the most part. Hit and Run is not an elegant film - and it doesn't get an elegant presentation on this BD - but it's not bad enough to detract from the movie itself.
Audio: How Does the Disc Sound?
This is also a pretty straightforward affair. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound mix on this Blu-ray Disc has some sharpness to it - surrounds participate impressively, and fidelity is dynamic and well-defined throughout - but music comes in way too loud almost every time, and effects and atmospherics balance with dialogue awkwardly at times. It's not a terrible lossless presentation, but keep that volume control handy.
English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles are included.
Supplements: What Goodies Are There?
All we get are three super-short featurettes - Street Legal (2:00), Run and Gun (3:00), and Love on the Run (3:00) - as well as some deleted scenes. Also included are a DVD Edition of the movie and both Ultraviolet and iTunes Digital Copies.
No major bonuses, a lack of A/V quality - you're going to need to be a major Bradley Cooper fan to get through this one. Hit and Run has a handful of fun moments in it, but as a full-length movie, it's a missed opportunity.