Everyone in this movie is so likeable! The good guys, the bad guys, the police, the girlfriends, the boyfriends, the bosses – everyone. I don’t know if that hurt it or helped people’s view of it but I liked every minute of it in my rum-soaked view of it.
Written and directed (with David Palmer) by Dax Shepard, the film is about Charles Bronson/Yul Perrkins, an imformant in witness protection who is in love with Annie Bean (Kristen Bell) who doesn’t really know about him; and didn’t ask during the last year; and then got mad when he hadn’t told her. She gets a dream-job offer in L.A. the only place on earth Yul can’t go but they go anyway in spite of his U.S. Marshall goofball (Tom Arnold) protector’s protests. Annie’s ex-boyfriend Gil Rathbinn (Smallville’s Lex Luthor Michael Rosenbaum with hair. Sorry Michael, it’ll take time.) doesn’t want to let her go (even though they broke up a year ago) and he rats Yul out to the his former bank-robbing partners. Let the hi-jinx commence.
The chemistry between Kristen (I call her Kristen because we’re friends. At least that’s what the collages on my basement wall prove) and the guy who plays her boyfriend in this film as well as in real-life feels really genuine, in a Mr. and Mrs. Smith kind of way. It’ll never last. I don’t want to sound bitter but come on!
The Story gets a +2 because it’s a solid point A to point B story with little straying. The Look gets a +3 because it was well shot and considering how many speeding cars were filmed, it still always looked good. The CGI to make Owen Wilson look like his alter-ego Dax Shepard was amazing, way better than Looper…what? That’s not Owen Wilson in disguise? Really. Any-hoo! The Overall Casting is top-notch (+2), I loved everyone in their place, even Bradley Cooper in white-guy dreads. The Commitment to Genre scores a +2 because it’s a road-trip move, a buddy movie, avignette movie – it’s all good.
I will add a point (+1) for the pit-bull scene. I will deduct -3 points because Annie never asked about Charles/Yul’s past and then got upset with him because of his past and this was a big part of the story. I will add a point (+1) for the Pouncer app but will deduct a point (-1) because they didn’t use it with Jason Bateman. I will add two points (+2) for the Jail-Rape discussion. It was hilarious! I will deduct a point (-1) for the bowling ball not playing a more important role. I’ll add a point (+1) for the awesome 1967 Lincoln and the fact that it actually belongs to Dax Shepard, and another (+1) because he did the stunt driving! Unfortunately, I must deduct a point (-1) for nothing coming of the stolen engine – that needed to happen, Dax.