Movie review: Hits

David Cross wrote and directed a movie? Yup, “Hits,” and I watched it on Netflix.

…Who is David Cross? Get out.

Hits stars Matt Walsh as Dave, a supposedly ‘regular joe’ everyman character who is frustrated over a pothole in front of his home. His daughter Katelyn (Meredith Hagner) is a young lady who daydreams of being famous, via a reality singing show if possible.

There are a few other characters whose stories revolve around partaking in Dave and Katelyn’s wishes. Observers of Dave’s city council tirades are hipsters who need petty diversions from, say, serious life issues (such as one lady’s desire for a baby) and decide they need to get involved with promoting Dave’s “agenda.” Of course, they don’t care about the pothole, as they treat it like they treat everyone else they meet, including Dave: a novelty, an amusement to snicker at before moving on to the next shiny thing.

Katelyn’s circle of young people are aimless with only thoughts of “fame” driving them to do anything for the goal of whatever it means to be famous. Since “viral videos” are another entry to fame, Katelyn is shocked when she finds her dad at the center of a brief media circus as he prepares to follow up with more tirades against the system that is rigged to keep him silent…over a pothole.

The main negative aspect isn’t how negative this movie is about its idiotic characters, though they are all ridiculously delusional. It’s a commentary, not a story about anyone’s real character development. The end result might come off as mean-spirited towards these characters, whether they be parodies of self-righteous hipsters or talk-radio dittoheads. Dave is a sympathetic character and it’s easy to root for him in all this satire, but there’s a few moments that should clue you in on how he fits into a harsh lesson on whose agenda you should get involved with.

It’s Cross’ first movie, and it’s directed and edited very well. Any character that might be a one-dimensional piece in a satire puzzle is still both written well and given enough room to be genuinely amusing while serving their part in this commentary. And it’s a commentary that doesn’t lose focus. It stays on its targets. No one is the wiser in the end, sadly everyone is probably still delusional even if they got what they what, but thankfully no one has to give a soliloquy about what is really wrong with the world in order to remind the viewer that, yes, there is a message in this comedy.

Didn’t Run Ronnie Run have a similar theme? Maybe; it wasn’t finished with Cross & Bob Odenkirk’s blessing, so I don’t know if Mr. Show spin-off about a guy who becomes famous for an abusive reality TV culture had the same intended message. It was definitely more over the top and even had an intermission that had nothing to do with the “story,” and as Zany Comedies goes becomes less Airplane! and more Amazon Women On The Moon.

I’m not hip. Does Ellen DeGeneres really have people who are viral video stars on her show? So, my nieces showed me this video of two teens making fun of each other because of their “style.” It was an injoke they must have had, and filmed it for a minute, and for some reason it had a bazillion hits. I didn’t get it, but then my nieces showed me the teens’ appearance on Ellen. Ellen tried to interview them. The interview was pretty short. The kids were unsure of how to answer the questions and I bet she even has to wonder why she was being bothered to have them on.

Maybe we shouldn’t get our fifteen minutes of fame if we can’t do anything worthwhile for 15 minutes.

Who is Matt Walsh? A very funny actor comedian type. Very straight on deadpan no-nonsense delivery, even when delivering nonsense. Another plus of this movie is that he’s the star. You can see him in VEEP on HBO.


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