Courtney Solomon’s Getaway is the latest and quite possibly one of the least intelligent action-with-no-plot movies in a while. Solomon’s aggravating insistence of using incomprehensibly jittery and frantic camera movement at all times makes understanding what exactly is happening on the screen a chore, though perhaps she was merely trying to distract us from the fact that almost nothing happening makes sense in the first place. The only thing faster than the cars and camera angles in this film is the speed in which it’s diving down the box office.
The movie opens with second-long images of a silver car being chased by an army of identical cop cars, interspersed with images of an invaded home with littered with ruined Christmas decorations. Laboriously we learn that retired racecar driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is being controlled by a man delivering him orders via phone in exchange for the safety of his kidnapped wife (voiced and mouthed by John Voight). If Magna (who, for a horrifying minute, I thought screenwriters Gregg Maxwell Parker and Sean Finnegan had actually named ‘Magma’) fails to obey his often-dangerous commands, his wife will be killed.
Slowly, and with the same horror that I realized the characters in Les Miserables never stop singing, it dawned on me that the car chase from the first scene never truly ends. The movie is an overlong and repetitive car chase, and not a particularly good one. I’m fairly certain my brain managed to register the windows on Hawke’s car (an armored, silver Shelby Mustang Super Snake, which I’m not sure is real) shatter in at least two frames, only to be perfectly whole in the next. Nitpicking the movie’s nonsensicalness would likely be easier if the images were even slightly digestible, but Solomon creates a safety net for herself by making sure the film flashes by so quickly no one will notice any flaws, of which there are probably many. Absolute game-changing genius.
Shortly into the film Magna is joined by a nameless and blandly feisty teenage girl played by Selena Gomez. An armed car thief, she is pitifully disarmed by Magna, who is ordered by the man’s voice to take her along for the ride. “But I can’t drive, there’s a kid in the car! She needs to leave!” Magna vehemently protests as half her unconscious body dangles out of the open door. She is nonetheless whisked along for the ride. Could you imagine being Selena Gomez’s character in this movie? You try kidnapping the one car in the entire parking lot (which was empty besides him) and get whisked along on this journey! That’s insane.
Poor Selener. Her management just isn’t keeping an eye out for her! She was handed some of the worst dialogue of what is probably screenwriting in general. “Scratch that!”, “You asshole!”, “We’re screwed!” she repeated spontaneously throughout the film, along with many other outdated and embarrassing figures of speech like she was some kind of rebellious teen from the 1950s. Selena stood no chance against the script’s overpowering cheesiness. Why was her character even there? It wasn’t a random car theft, as it turns out: Magna was actually driving her car, which had been stolen three days prior. Her silver… armored… Mustang…
Magna and the super edgy kid continue their invincible reign of terror through the unspecified urban location, speeding at unnecessary intervals and attracting the attention of the police when it could have been easily avoidable. Whatever it takes to fill the required 90 minutes, I guess. The film’s run time is exactly 90 minutes, by the way, which SUCKS because it’s just so typical of movies similar to this. The movie is bad enough I feel justified attacking its runtime.
A lot more can be complained about this movie but it’s pointless – looking at its box office performance, no one is even seeing it to understand how terrible it is. This is a good thing. Stay away.
This is my movie wall. A few weeks ago I was given three fall movie posters for Getaway, Prisoners, and Gravity, the three of which coexisted in harmony above my bed. I warned them, if any of you suck, you’re going off the wall. No second chances. The above image is the resulted fallout after my Getaway viewing experience.