Bret Magna (Ethan Hawke) is a former race car driver. His wife, Leanne (Rebecca Budig) is kidnapped by a mysterious man (Jon Voight) who holds her hostage, threatening to kill her unless Bret can complete a series of tasks he is given throughout the night.
Bret’s first task is to steal a Shelby Super Snake Mustang. It is a souped-up muscle car, equipped with cameras inside and out so “The Voice” can keep an eye on what he is doing, making sure he is following directions. Between tasks, the car’s owner, “The Kid” (Selena Gomez) is tipped off to his location. She shows up, gun in hand, to get back the Shelby Mustang that she tricked out. The Voice instructs Bret to take The Kid with him. Fortunately for Bret, The Kid is a technological whiz-kid.
Bret’s tasks mainly consist of causing all kinds of traffic havoc and evading the Bulgarian police. Thanks to his indestructible Shelby Mustang, this isn’t a terribly difficult task. He speeds through parks, smashes into trucks, crashes into police cars. All the while, Bret has no idea what his ultimate task is and if or when he will see his wife again. As the night progresses, the tasks get more dangerous. Will Bret and The Kid be able to complete all the tasks, using the Shelby Mustang, and rescue his wife?
Getaway is a pure car chase movie. Meaning it takes place entirely inside the Shelby Mustang and every scene is a chase. One would think this would be an easy win for a “guy” movie. One would be wrong.
I wish I would have kept a tally, but if you’re wondering just how many cars crash in this movie, the answer would be all of them. Every car in Bulgaria crashes in this less than exciting action movie. Even the Shelby Mustang. If there was an award for most collateral damage, Getaway would win, hands down.
One of the major downfalls of the movie is the casting. Selena Gomez is obviously anxious to shed her Disney kid image. She sports a hoodie and a gun. With her baby face, I have a hard time buying her as a “thug” who can mod cars, specifically Shelby Mustangs, and hack into police computer systems armed only with an iPad. Her minor swearing and giving the finger come off as trying to hard and almost comical.
When we see The Voice talking, it is simply close-ups of Jon Voight’s eyes, or his mouth, sloppily chewing on juicy olives. Not exactly appealing. And the relationship between The Voice and Bret are tenuous, at best. It was unsatisfying.
The best part of the movie is the chase at the end of the film. It is shot from a GoPro on the grill of the Shelby Mustang. There is no dialog, only the sound of the engine. This is the only good cinematography choice made in the film. Some may get a headache or vertigo from this scene, though.
Speaking of the Shelby Mustang, I was surprised at just how invincible this car is. It can smash through everything, farmers markets, police cars, tracks, go down cement stairs, all with just a few scratches, maybe losing a mirror. It is completely bullet proof. Except when it’s not. And then again, when they launch rockets, which leave the Shelby Mustang completely unaffected. Then, all of a sudden, the Shelby Mustang crashes and takes on some major damage. The continuity is confusing. They’re hoping you miss all of this with the action, I guess.
One thing I was not able to overlook, aside from choosing the Shelby Mustang over the available Ferrari (although, the Shelby Mustang is obviously handed down by Zeus), was The Voice in the final chase. Evil geniuses never drive themselves. Ever.
Did I mention it was a Shelby Mustang? This is how the film felt. There is so much product placement for the car in this film, it is essentially a 90 minute (yes, exactly 90 minutes) commercial for the car. I don’t think the cameras and impenetrable shell are standard options, though.
I didn’t have high expectations going into this movie. Getaway lived up to all of them.
Nice review. It’s really bad, and it only gets worse when you know that Ethan Hawke, as talented as he is, can’t make this work.
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