Getaway Directed by: Courtney Solomon Cast: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins Rating: PG-13 Release Date: August 30, 2013
PLOT: Brent Magna (Hawke) is a former race-car driver whose wife is kidnapped. Now he must do everything her captors want in a race against time.
WHO'S IT FOR? Those desperately in love with the Shelby Cobra Mustang, which is a part of many repetitive chase scenes.
Get away from Getaway. As far as you can. Even far than Voight tried to (while technically still being in the film). This is an extremely boring chase film. The car goes fast, but the film doesn't. The summer of '13 has ended with an uneventful action film.
When the film begins, I'm hooked with the opening sequence. They cut right to the chase. Brent sees that someone has broken into his place and kidnapped his wife. His phone rings and on the other end is the man behind all of this. He explains that Brent must drive a souped up, beautiful Shelby Cobra Mustang on a series of mini-missions. The action is filled with quick cuts that still allow you to feel like you understand the movement. It's good. Then it all goes to bad.
The moment Gomez arrives, the film completely loses me. Brent must do everything the evil genius on the phone says, everything. He stresses this many times, or well Brent's wife dies. The kid (Gomez's character's name) gets in the car with a gun. The voice (Voight's character's name) tells Brent to kill her once Brent has control of the gun. He insists, otherwise Brent's wife is dead. Brent decides not to. Then the voice says, "Good, you may need her." Do you understand what happens because of this scene? The voice, who demands full control, shouting commands like, "Turn right," and "Ram that car," suddenly lets Brent know that he can have his own opinion. It doesn't make sense for the characters, the film, and most importantly for my entertainment.
Gomez plays an annoying, spoiled teenager. More than anything else this movie seems constructed because someone out there thinks Gomez's fan base is desperate to see her in an ordinary action film. Hawke doesn't bring anything to the role except for bickering with the annoying teen. She's also somehow the greatest computer hacker in the world. It's a matter of plot convenience, because otherwise we have the same chase sequences repeated over and over again. Police catch up to Brent, then Brent gets away. This could have been cut together in any order, because after the first, they all feel and look the same. Plus, there's the fact that the car is filled with cameras and a microphone, so the voice knows Brent's every move, yet Brent and the kid constantly talk about their plans to turn the tables on the voice.
There is one sequence of momentary redemption for this forgettable film. When Brent finally does a little chasing of his own at the end, we're given a point-of-view shot from the front bumper of the Mustang. It wakes you up, and makes you take notice. It seems like one take, with cars whizzing by, and it's impressive. It didn't make me like the Getaway, instead it made me annoyed that this bad film could have such a good moment. It made me upset for other chase films to not take the same chance. It's a wasted scene in a film that features Voight's mouth (probably, unless it's a stunt mouth) plastered on the big screen time and time again, even when he's slurping up martini olives.
Getaway hit that level of annoyance for me where I realized I'd rather be doing almost anything else. It shows a little mercy with a very short running time (90 minutes). Even with the impressive POV car chase, my happiest moment with this film was simply getting away.
FINAL SCORE: 2/10