Summer film season is in high gear, even if the grosses for Battleship decidedly are not. But now let's look beyond the hot weather months, as studios start teasing the next wave of big movies.
Hit and Run (opening August 24)
The Details: Third-string film comedian/television star Dax Shepard wrote, directed and stars in this R-rated action comedy about a former getaway driver for a bank robbery crew, now enrolled in the witness protection program. When one of his former criminal associates (a dreadlocked Bradley Cooper) finds him, he and his fiancée (Kristen Bell, Shepard's real-life sweetie) have to hit the road, pursued by a federal marshal played by Tom Arnold.
The Trailer: Shepard is overtly paying homage to old-fashioned '70s drive-in action movies with Hit and Run: for one thing, his character is named Charlie Bronson. The trailer puts across that genre-specific blend of action-packed chase scenes and broad comedy in a way that seems promising. Unfortunately, a lengthy and unfunny (and frankly kinda racist) running joke about prison rape sucks a lot of the retro-goofball fun out of it.
What's The Buzz: The trailer proudly trumpets "from the producers of Wedding Crashers," perhaps in a bin to make it feel a bit less like those '70s-vintage Roger Corman flicks it's paying homage to. I think this is going to attract a cult audience who's on that wavelength, but I suspect it won't be a blockbuster.