Release date: August 30, 2013
Directed by: Courtney Solomon
Written by: Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and Jon Voigt
Official website: facebook.com/GetawaytheMovie
Sometimes a mindless action flick with fast cars can be a lot of fun. The “Fast and the Furious” franchise is the perfect example of how it can work. “Getaway” wants you to believe its just as much fun as all the other similar action movies it is pretending to be. But, despite a decent cast and some fancy driving stunts, it’s painfully obvious there is little to care about in this lazy, vacant, end of the summer action flick.
Not to be confused with the 1972 Steve McQueen classic of the same name, this film begins with Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke), a former race car driver, arriving at his home to find his home in shambles and his wife gone. A phone call from a mysterious stranger, voiced by Jon Voigt, orders Magna to go to a specific parking garage, steal a specific car, and go on an all night errand run, or – gulp – his wife dies.
Teaming up with a young girl, played by Selena Gomez, Magna embarks on a wild night that consists mostly of being chased by police through the streets of Bulgaria. The villain and his plot remain vague to a fault. He’s able to see and hear everything within the carIt becomes clear that there is more to the kidnapping than the villain is letting on, but the plot never allows itself to be just one set up after another for a fiery crash.
It’s part “Phone Booth”, part “Taken”, and part “Fast and the Furious”, but lacking all the intensity, action, and entertainment of any of those movies. Director Courtney Solomon (The Haunting) does a bang up job of staging elaborate chases, crashes, and explosions, but that’s about the only thing this movie has going for it. Solomon’s jarring and overactive camera never stops movie. The movie feels fast. But it’s also quite boring.
Hawke, Gomez, and Voigt have all been better in other movies, but the screenplay by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker gives them absolutely zero character developing moments. The film jumps into the fire so fast, the audience is never allowed to learn enough about the relationship between Magna and his wife to truly care if he ever sees her again. At least in “Taken” you got a little background, about Brian Mills and his family.
Gomez, who is trying real hard to break out of that good girl Disney mold and into more grown up, action movie roles, feels a little miscast here, but it’s impossible to blame her for the lack of characterization in this loud, and tedious flick. Her character is for the most part unnecessary. She doesn’t even have a name. She got off easy.
“Getaway” is a mindless, heartless, and joyless action flick that never seems to enjoy the idea of being a mindless summer action movie. Instead of going full bore over the top, it fails to deliver any interesting characters, zero plot twists, and a bland villain.
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