by Kevin MarshallAugust 22, 2012 at 12:00AM
Dax Shepard is living the dream, and “Hit and Run” is proof of it. I can't say I'm an aficionado of muscle cars. In fact, I doubt I'll ever even do my own oil change. Yet I can't help but envy Dax Shepard's enthusiasm for them and what he's done with it. Isn't it every geek's dream to take that one particular thing they're passionate about and turn it into a labor of love?
Well, that's what he's done with "Hit and Run," a new film that Shepard directed, wrote, and starred in. It tells the story of Charlie Bronson, a former getaway driver who goes into witness protection but jeopardizes his cover and safety to bring his girlfriend across the country while being pursued by her ex, law enforcement, and old associates who want him dead.
Along the way, of course, there are cars. Lots of them. And chases. Lots of chases.
Perhaps the real story, though, is that Shepard was able to channel a lifelong love into a feature film and not only garner some success with it, but get some big names on board with him. Among his co-stars are Kristen Bell (Shepard's real-life fiancée), Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold, Kristen Chenowith, Beau Bridges, and David Koechner. It'd be an impressive lineup for any film, with a ton of depth and talent, but the fact that he got it for a labor of love like "Hit and Run" is nothing sort of remarkable and, for the geek in all of us, inspiring.
Imagine taking your love of, say, a video game and getting to make a movie about it. Then let's say that you're able to cast pretty much whomever you want in it. That's basically what Shepard's done here. Perhaps what's most telling telling, though, of the enthusiasm he and all involved had for the project is that it all happened over the course of less than four months from inception to completion of principal photography.
Shepard has stated in interviews that he owns several of the cars that appear in "Hit and Run." The Lincoln featured prominently in the film is a car that Shepard himself built over the course of several years. And perhaps coolest (and most impressive) of all, he did all of his own driving in the film.
All of which, not surprisingly, is old hat to him. In addition to being a lifelong fan of cars, Shepard spent fourteen years as a professional driver for General Motors, driving their cars in exhibitions for media events and promotions.
"Hit and Run" is the result of a lifelong devotion to a passionate fandom and a collaboration with friends; the kind of thing that we only dreamt about when we were growing up and sitting in basements and bedrooms with our own friends. That, regardless of whether your hobbies and interests involve muscle cars or video games or model trains, is something worth geeking out about.
Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell will talk fast cars and their new film on the fastest five minutes of tech, gaming, and comics on this week's edition of All Access Weekly at midnight only on Spike.