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Movie Review: Getaway (2013)

Updated on January 3, 2014

Director: Courtney Soloman

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig, Bruce Payne

Getaway is stupid, cynical, monotonous, and numbingly loud, and pretty much just 90 minutes of cars crashing and flipping. By the 40 minute mark, there have been enough car crashes to fill up three Fast and Furious movies, and most of those cars are Bulgarian police vehicles. There comes a point where you honestly think that the entire police force of Sofia, Bulgaria (which is where the story takes place) has been completely annihilated, but they never stop coming in this movie. Apparently, the city of Sofia has an inexhaustible supply of police officers and cop cars.

Much of the vehicular carnage is perpetrated by former race-car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke), who, in the movie's opening scene, returns home from work and discovers that his wife (Rebecca Budig) has been kidnapped. He receives a phone call from the mastermind behind his wife's abduction (Jon Voight), who instructs him to steal a "very special car" from a parking garage and perform a number of tasks for him. His first task is to drive fast through a public park and "crash into everything that you see." Why does he ask him to do this? Your guess is as good as mine.

Later, Brent is confronted by the owner of the car he stole, a testy 18 year old girl (Selena Gomez) who remains unnamed for the duration of the movie. Her introductory scene is curiously handled. Brent hides out in a parking garage until he receives his next task. She approaches and opens the passenger door with a gun drawn. She's wears a baseball cap pulled down over her eyes, and a sweater jacket with the hood pulled over her head, so that she honestly looks like a car jacker. Of course, all of that is simply to throw us off, so we can admit that we were fooled when it's revealed that she's really an innocent bystander simply wanting to reclaim her stolen property.

Pretty much the entire movie in a nutshell!
Pretty much the entire movie in a nutshell!

During the "car jacking that isn't really a car jacking" scene, Brent receives a phone call from the villain, who tells him to kidnap the girl. From there, the movie follows an incredibly weary Buddy Action Movie formula. At first, these two can't stand each other and are constantly screaming "Shut up!" at one another. Who wants to bet that they'll grow to appreciate each other before the movie is over?

"What does this guy want?" is a question our heroes ask more than once during the movie. It's frustrating that once it's revealed that Gomez's character is the daughter of a bank CEO, they still can't figure out the answer to that question. What I want to know is what do the assigned tasks Brent has to perform have to do with the villain's master plan? There's one scene where he calls the police, and instructs Brent to evade the cops in four minutes, "or your wife dies!" I don't know how this helps the bad guy achieve his goals, but it does supply the movie with yet another tedious car chase.

As directed by Courtney Solomon, who made the beyond atrocious Dungeons and Dragons movie back in 2000, every single chase is so murkily shot and poorly edited that it's downright difficult to see what's going on half the time. Most of the time, however, we simply watch cars crash and flip and crash and flip and...crash and flip some more, until the scenes become indistinguishable from one another. Occasionally, the movie throws a gun battle at us, but even these scenes are ruined by massive logical gaffes. There's one scene where Brent is shot in the back, and he somehow survives without a scratch, and without explanation.

See what I mean! :/
See what I mean! :/

Ethan Hawke turns in a strong performance as Brent, which makes the fact that it's wasted on such a bland and lifeless character sort of depressing. Selena Gomez, on the other hand, is just bad. Hoping to break away from her Disney image, she is given the chance to say "shit" a lot during the movie, but she is for the most part irritating and excessively whiny. And she never. stops. talking. She keeps blabbering on so much that you're bound to sympathize with Brent during the scenes where he keeps telling her to shut up.

There is one decent, unbroken shot toward the end of the movie, but that's just a short moment of competence in a movie that has been staggeringly inept. What's most surprising is that in the end of the movie, after a power plant blows up (causing a city wide black out), a train yard blows up, and dozens of cops and more than a few innocent bystanders are killed during the action scenes, Brent isn't hauled off to jail. Many of those deadly car crashes and explosions were resulted by his actions, but that's okay, because it was all so he can get his wife back. Never mind all the property destruction or the people who died during the movie. It was all for a good cause, and that makes it all okay, right?

Final Grade: * (out of ****)

Note: If you do decide to see this movie, watch with someone with a sarcastic wit who talks back at the screen. I watched the first half by myself and it was insufferable. The second half, on the other hand, I watched with my younger brother, and his hilarious remarks made it easier to endure. I do not, however, recommend watching it alone. You have been warned!

What did you think of this movie? :)

Cast your vote for Getaway (2013)


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you. I appreciate that!

    • priley84 profile image

      priley84 4 years ago from Warner Robins, Ga

      Hello Ms. Dora. It is good to meet you as well. :)

      You are welcome for the heads up. There are other, far better movies than this one out there. Gravity is one of the best movies out right now. If you haven't seen it, I do highly recommend it! :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Glad to meet you. I like to watch movies on recommendation, since I'm not big on television watching, so please know that I'll take you seriously. Not interested in this "vehicular carnage." I have been warned. Thank you for the heads up.