Synopsis: Former race car driver Brent Magna (Hawke) is pitted against the clock. Desperately trying to save the life of his kidnapped wife, Brent commandeers a custom Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake, taking it and its unwitting owner (Gomez) on a high-speed race against time, at the command of the mysterious villain holding his wife hostage.
Release Date: August 30, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Thriller
What do you get when you throw Taken, Gone in 60 Seconds, and Phone Booth in a blender and mix it up for 90 minutes? Apparently, the answer is Getaway.
Getaway stars Ethan Hawke (Sinister) as Brent Magna, a former racecar driver living in Bulgaria who has been forced to do whatever he can, legal or not, to survive. His wife, Leanne (“All My Children” star Rebecca Budig), is kidnapped and Brent is instructed by a voice on the phone (Deliverance‘s Jon Voight) to go to a parking garage and steal a certain automobile – a Shelby Super Snake – if he ever wants to see her alive again. Brent nabs the car and makes his escape, but his ordeal is just beginning; the voice gives him a series of missions that he must accomplish in order to get his wife back. One of the missions hooks him up with the car’s owner (Selena Gomez from Spring Breakers), and she is forced to join him on his quest. A clever girl who is adapt at all kinds of computer trickery, she proves herself to be a valuable ally. As the night goes on, Brent and The Kid work their way through the series of missions which seem to be leading to a very definite destination.
Because of the seemingly random missions and the wanton destruction that they cause, both the concept and execution of Getaway feels like a movie version of the video game Grand Theft Auto. Directed by Courtney Solomon (An American Haunting), the film is chocked full of mindless action, big explosions and loud noises. The thin storyline was written by the first-time writing team of Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker, but the plot isn’t important. In fact, when the film does slow down and allow Hawke and Gomez time to reflect and discuss, the wheels come completely off. There’s really only one reason to see Getaway, and it’s not the dialogue.
A fascinating thing happens while watching Getaway; the car becomes the star. Watching the Shelby Super Snake speed through the streets of Bulgaria, evading some policemen while smashing into others, tearing down staircases and shooting across ice rinks, drifting and weaving in and out of traffic, it’s all incredibly enjoyable. The car chases are much more fun to watch than the meat of the movie, and that’s the problem; there’s no excitement in the story, so the energy is manufactured though the chase scenes. The whole point of the film feels like it’s to sell cars. Or car insurance.
As far as good old fashioned fun goes, Getaway is a good time. It’s a very visceral movie, putting the viewer in the car with Brent as he speeds around and bangs into stuff. It gets a little redundant after a while, as most car-based action films do, but as far as pure adrenaline goes, there have been worse films than Getaway. But, there have also been better.
Although acting excellence is not usually something that viewers expect from a movie like Getaway, a certain standard needs to be upheld in order to create any sense of excitement or empathy. Watching Selena Gomez try and act like an intellectual kid is embarrassing – for both her and the audience. Ethan Hawke does his best to get her through it, but every line of hers sounds like it’s being read right off of cue cards, and she sounds like she has no idea what she is saying. It’s painful, and the audience finds itself just waiting for the phone to ring, for Jon Voight’s voice to come back and give Brent another mission just so the film can regain some of its momentum. Although she is done no favors by the corny dialogue, Gomez drags the entire cast down with her unconvincing performance. When a script is as cheesy as that of Getaway, the best thing for an actor to do is to plant their tongue firmly in their cheek and go for it. Both Ethan Hawke and Jon Voight get it, Selena Gomez does not. Unfortunately, Gomez overpowers them, and everyone suffers.
If there’s one thing that can be said about Getaway, it’s that it’s fast. There are more car chases (and car wrecks) per minute of film since, well, maybe ever. Add in the fact that there is little or no CGI and the chases are even more impressive. According to promotional materials for the film, over 130 cars were wrecked during filming, and apparently they used every inch of film that they shot because the audience is treated to a ton of twisting metal, shattering glass and squealing tires. The stuntmen really earn their pay in this one. The only problem with the action sequences is, after a while, they start to get repetitive; there’s only so many ways in which to show a police car flipping over, and Getaway just about covers it. Aside from a long, unbroken chase shot that was filmed from a camera on the front of the Super Snake towards the end of the film, the chase scenes are nothing incredibly groundbreaking, but they are a lot of fun to watch. If fast cars and wicked driving is what floats your boat, Getaway may be just what you’re looking for this summer.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Courtney Solomon
- Screenwriter(s): Sean FineganGregg Maxwell Parker
- Cast: Ethan Hawke (Brent)Selena Gomez (The Kid)Jon Voight (The Voice) Rebecca Vubig (Leanne)
- Editor(s): Ryan Dufrene
- Cinematographer: Yaron Levy
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA