When I heard that there was going to be a remake of the classic TV Show into a movie I kind of ignored it. These things rarely go well and are often not funny in the slightest. I became a little more hopeful when I later read that Dax Shepard would be the one who was taking the helm. I enjoyed the movie Hit and Run that he made with his wife Kristen Bell and this seemed to be right up his alley.
Shepard plays Jon, a down on his luck former motor cross racer who joins the LAPD in order to get his wife back. Michael Pena plays Ponch, an undercover FBI agent trying to investigate reports of crooked cops after a heist that went wrong. The rookie and the veteran get paired up together and things don't go according to plan.
Shepard has a very specific point of view for movies like this. He likes skirt the line between simplicity and complication when it comes to his vehicle chase scenes. He's also incredibly skilled at comedy. While the dialogue sags at times with over-burdensome exposition and attempts at humor, where the movie really shines is the physical comedy and the heart infused into the movie overall.
I was rooting for Jon even though his wife was the worst. His broken body played as a perfect metaphor to his broken heart. There's a sincerity in Shepard's writing and directing style that makes you want to give that big lovable oaf a hug.
The movie is good guys vs. bad guys and you know how it will end…mostly. I liked that this movie was well-rounded in its humor, action, and heart. If you enjoyed Shepard's Hit and Run, then this will also be up your alley.