An awful movie that’s sometimes amusing in spite itself. Getaway is practically a non-stop, smashy-smashy car chase movie through the streets of Bulgaria, with Ethan Hawke as a disgraced former stock car driver now submitting to destructive orders by Jon Voight on the other end of an intercom. Hawke’s wife has been taken hostage, and won’t be released until Hawke finishes a deadly night of Simon Says. Along for the ride is stranger Selena Gomez who freaks out that it’s her Ford Shelby that Hawke is driving. Hey, you can’t let Hawke drive around an entire movie without giving him somebody annoying to talk to, right? Anyway, we’re neck-deep in shameless clichés with this flick.
We can only watch so much crazy car stunt work until we realize we’ve seen it better in the “Die Hard” movies, the “Bourne” movies, and recently, “Taken.” Hawke and Gomez are reduced to hollering, shrieking and complaining about the nutso situation they’re in. I’d say, every few minutes, Hawke has a brief moment to prove what a good reactionary actor he is. Gomez, ehhh, not so much. She belongs in “Bratz,” but in all fairness, she passes as a movie fantasy computer wiz. As for Voight, the adversary, we mostly see his lips and his chin the entire movie in tight close-ups. His accent is half Russian, half “Anaconda.”
The editing of the car chases are bowdlerized into fragmented pieces, but there are at least some cool wicked Dutch angles that capture the angle. But I kept looking at “Getaway” wishing the director, Courtney Solomon, would have left his shots go on for at least another three seconds at a time. There is one great scene in “Getaway,” towards the end, that is one expertly choreographed one-shot that goes for a couple miles unedited. I hadn’t realized I was crazing more scenes like those.
I don’t want to spoil whether or not Hawke gets his wife back (Rebecca Budig gets a thankless role), but I do want to groan to you about the extortion scene where Hawke has to deliver a package to his wife’s captors – what, he goes in there thinking he has all the cards now, and then cowers to their orders? Lame. Also, there are scenes of gunmen on motorcycles chasing the good guy’s car. I counted a half dozen times where if the good guy slammed the breaks, the motorcyclist would have rammed and flipped right over. Game over.
You’ve seen dozens of movies like “Getaway,” you’re not that afraid of Gomez’ acting, and you’re still curious. Well, please promise me, don’t go out of your way to see this.
90 Minutes. Rated PG-13.
SUSPENSE / MINDLESS FUN / LATE NIGHT BRAIN TURNED OFF
Film Cousins: “The Driver” (1978); “Speed” (1994); “Die Hard with a Vengeance” (1995); “Taken” (2008).