Take Getaway’s advice and stay far away from this movie
Ethan Hawke: that guy is everywhere lately. Before Midnight is still playing the art houses; The Purge was recently graciously purged from movie theatres; then there was something else and I’m sure some other movie I’m forgetting too. In Getaway (there’s no “The” hence the awkward-sounding grammar) Hawke yet again tries to be a badass and yet again falls woefully short. He plays Brent Magna (as in Carta?) an ex-race car driver who left the high stakes world of racing for the much more dangerous career of getaway driver. In a two-minute prologue Brent returns home to find his place ransacked and his hot Bulgarian wife missing. Oh right: in a brief aside Brent mentions that his wife is from Bulgaria and that’s why they live there. Not for film tax purposes obviously.
He gets a call from the kidnapper who tells him to steal this sweet awesomely fast car — the kind that’s wonderful in a movie and totally douchey in real life. He finds the car is tricked out with cameras and bulletproof everything. He’s told to get moving or his wife is dead.
Although you only ever see the bad guy’s mouth and hands during the film it’s clearly that plasticky Republican bastard Jon Voight sporting a sinister vaguely Eastern European accent. He orders Brent to speed around Bulgaria where he crashes into people and things for no apparent reason. Voight appears to be nuts but this being a thriller there’s sure to be an eventual method to his madness. For most of the film however he hides behind a phone and laptop cackling and making bizarre demands. He’s like Dr. Claw sans M.A.D. Cat. Which is a damn shame because an appearance from M.A.D. Cat in this film would be great.
While Brent is driving around terrorizing Bulgaria he gets carjacked by a young chubby-faced um Bulgarian (?) gangster wannabe played by Selena Gomez. She demands her car back. Her car? Yep — she’s the spoiled rich kid of a shady banker and Brent is cruising around in her birthday gift. (Why is she living in Bulgaria? We never find out.) She’s also a computer genius which is important for boring reasons later in the film. She complains incessantly says “shit” a lot (probably very exciting for Gomez — seriously girl looks like she’s eight years old) and constantly dicks around with her iPhone and iPad. Apple must’ve thrown the producer a few bucks.
Director Courtney Solomon does his best with what he’s given I suppose. There are a lot of car crashes though the action is often ruined by the reliance on footage from the video cameras mounted on the getaway car. Scenes are half-glimpsed blurry and aesthetically flat. It’s nausea-inducing and looks like it was shot on a cellphone.
This movie was made by committee and probably sounded great on paper — a (soon to be failed) attempt to make Gomez a movie star while crashing some cars and making that mad Apple money. The plot is lifted wholesale from 1994’s better-than-you-remember Speed — from the insane hidden villain to the improbable car-as-weapon scenario. Voight phones it in literally; watching Gomez-baby is like watching a toddler struggle against its baby brain and body; and Hawke just looks sad and defeated. Getaway is truly dreadful. This movie is unworthy of your hard-earned (or otherwise) money. Let it die a quiet undignified death.