Getaway: Not a good choice for a night out

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comAugust 30, 2013 

Film Review Getaway

This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Selena Gomez, left, and Ethan Hawke in a scene from "Getaway."

SIMON VARSANO — Warner Bros. Pictures

Getaway is a perfect title. Twenty minutes into the plot and the thought of bagging it and getting away will cross your mind. Critics can't act on the impulse. You can.

Ethan Hawke plays Brent Magna, a former race car driver living in Bulgaria. He comes home to find his wife has been kidnapped, and instructions are given for him to go to a garage and steal a Shelby Mustang GT500 Super Snake. It's outfitted with cameras that show what's happening inside the car and out.

Once in the car, he gets a phone call giving him specific instructions to be at various places at different times. If he fails to meet a deadline, his beautiful bride dies. The man on the phone can see everything Magna does and everything the car does and where it goes.

A few car chases, crashes and semi-interesting stunts later, and Selena Gomez's character shows up. It's her car, and she wants it back. The voice on the phone deliberately hooked them up. You never learn her name. The production notes bill her as The Kid.

While being chased all over the place by an obviously desperate Bulgarian police force, the two cause a hundred or so cars to crash, wipe out a huge number of police vehicles and generally wreak havoc everywhere they go. All is done at the whim of the voice on the phone.

None of the car chases, crashes or action sequences is special. At times, mostly unknown director Courtney Solomon recycles stunt styles he's already done. The first-time screenwriters Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker pack the movie with the worst possible dialogue. Gomez -- whose acting skills are limited, at best -- repeatedly says, "Lookout" or "Watch it." Hawke, also an actor of limited range, responds with, "Are you all right?"

The rest of the script has short lines here and there.

The movie is really all about the chase. And it's the chase where Getaway unravels. Sometimes the Shelby can't outrun vehicles chasing it or that it is chasing. Really? No surprise, machine gun bullets hitting the hood just bounce off. Real life says they penetrate and that's it for the motor. Other vehicles are devastated by contact with the Shelby, but it's merely dented and still plows forward.

And why is it that action films involving kids or young people always portray them as computer whizzes capable of hacking into anything and manipulating databases, websites, etc.?

Getaway is dumb with a capital D or in this case a capital G. Worse, it's bad enough to wreck the Shelby, but to wreck it in a movie this bad is downright criminal. For a night or afternoon out, Getaway is not a particularly good getaway.

Director: Courtney Solomon

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight

Mr. Movie rating: 1 star

Rated PG-13 for violence, some language and mature themes. It's playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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