Monday, 27 August 2012

A rather long mini-review of Hit and Run

I went to see Hit and Run because I saw the husband and wife creative team (and stars) Dax Shepard and Joy Bryant on Pierce Morgan talking about the movie. So call me crazy (and I know you will) but I’ve always had a thing for Dax Shepard, as he seems to me to be kinda gayishly cute. Anyway, the couple talked about the movie as an ‘indie’ film, meaning that it is not your typical mainstream fare. I also noted that on Rotten Tomatoes the movie was semi-dismissed as ‘raunchy’ -- which of course made me really want to see it. Not for the reasons you might think; it just seemed to me that everyone who was talking about the movie was talking in code. Well I saw it yesterday. Sure enough there is a gay cop in the movie replete with badly dyed red hair. He’s cruising people on ‘pouncer,’ which is of course a NOT very subtly disguised reference to the gay cruising app ‘Grindr.’ The gay cop is a major/minorish sort of character. But there’s also Dax’s tendency to ramble on about gay stuff. At one point he makes the somewhat offensive but rather accurate remark that black men view white men as women (ie vulnerable and effeminate) and also, that white men view Asian men as women (ditto). These remarks could of course be viewed as racist, sexist, and homophobic (the triple whammy of political incorrectness!). The film tries to head off such perceptions by having Bryant, early on, castigate Shepard for using the word ‘gay’ in a derogatory way.  She says -- “I mean, would it be alright for me to call my purse the n-word? Like no!”  -- or something to that effect -- which does make a kind of  funny, wacky sense in the context of their conversation. What I’m trying to say is that this movie is -- well, um, smart -- and even (God help me!) well written at times; it toys with deliciously dangerous stuff in a witty way. But of course the film is being promoted as a ‘raunchy’ comedy. Dax and Joy are obviously a pair of sharp cookies, and they were somehow able to sneak a teensy bit of intelligence into a run-of–the-mill Hollywood car chase movie, by advertising the film as a ‘raunchy’ sex farce, ala American Pie, albeit with an ‘alternative’ flair. I’m just kind of amazed that amidst the endless tedious remakes of Spiderman and Total Recall there exists, in a Hollywood movie, somewhere, the tiniest germ of an idea or two (however politically correct or even offensive those ideas might be). I hope the Hollywood Bigwigs don’t find out; it seems they are pretty dead set on keeping even a flash of actual adult braininess out of most standard flicks.