From the opening scene, featuring Shepard and real-life fiancée Kristen Bell making pillow talk, you can tell that Hit & Run isn’t a cookie-cutter comedy. It doesn’t pander to or, worse, wink at its audience. This film’s characters are unusually articulate, and all that smart dialogue provides a disarming contrast to the action/road-movie scenes.
Shepard’s troupe includes Bradley Cooper (sporting dreadlocks, no less) as an ex-friend turned bitter enemy, Tom Arnold as a bumbling federal marshal, Kristin Chenoweth as Bell’s sharp-tongued boss, plus Joy Bryant, David Koechner, Jess Rowland, Michael Rosenbaum, and Beau Bridges. Each character gets a chance to shine in a series of funny, unpredictable episodes, as Shepard drives his girlfriend from Central California to Los Angeles for a job interview—little dreaming that he’ll be tailed by his former confederate in a bank-robbery gang.
Hit & Run is clearly a low-budget, DIY-type movie, but it’s original and thoroughly engaging. I went in with no expectations and had a good time.