Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard) is in the Witness Protection Program. Randy (Tom Arnold) is the bumbling marshal who has been assigned to protect him. To say Randy is inept is a huge understatement.
Annie (Kristen Bell) is Charlie’s girlfriend. She is a professor at the local university. Her boss, Debbie (Kristin Chenoweth), got her an interview at a college in Los Angeles to create a program of her own. The problem is, Charlie isn’t supposed to leave the small town where he now resides. To make matters more difficult, and dangerous, Charlie is from L.A. And the people he testified against are there, hoping to get a little payback. Literally and figuratively.
Gil (Michael Rosenbaum) is Annie’s jealous ex-boyfriend. And he wants her back. Badly. When Gil learns of Charlie and Annie’s plan to head to Los Angeles, he contacts Alex Dimitri (Bradley Cooper), whom Charlie testified against, and tells him he knows Charlie’s location for the next twenty-four hours.
What follows is a hilarious, and potentially deadly, race to LA.
Written and directed by Dax Shepard. While some may write him off as the buffoon from Punk’d, this is a really smart comedy. I have to say, this is probably one of the most original concepts I’ve seen at the movies in a while.
As one would expect, the chemistry between Dax and Kristen Bell is spot on. Easy when you’re dating in real life, though, many times, that doesn’t translate well to the big screen. Add in the rest of the cast, and you have almost as good a blend as you could imagine in a film.
Tom Arnold is perfect as the incompetent marshal. There wasn’t a scene he was in that I wasn’t laughing hysterically. And Bradley Cooper’s bad boy/dreadlocked/animal friendly Dimitri doesn’t disappoint. The perfect mix of funny and tough.
Taking everything above and combining it with the amazing cinematography and soundtrack, and you have what movie making should be. The use of slow motion and the songs that accompany these moments is nothing short of genius. Most of Hollywood could learn a lot from the clown from Punk’d.
There is a ton of nudity/swearing/vulgarity. It’s totally inappropriate for kids. Despite the huge number of 8 to 10 year olds attending the screening. It may be too much for some adults. I highly enjoyed it. It’s definitely one of the best films I’ve seen all year. I predict it will be a cult hit, but it deserves so much more.
Well done, Dax.