Getaway may have been released in 2013 but it just as easily could have been made in the mid-nineties post-Speed vacuum that gave us cinematic clunkers like Chill Factor, Turbulence, and many other forgettable titles. This is a mindless thriller that grows tiresome real quick. The picture is essentially a 90-minute car chase, but it contains no sense of suspense because we don’t care about any of the characters or story, so it becomes an exercise in stunt execution. The writing is extremely lazy, they even reuse a gag from Speed, where the young heroine loops video footage so that the villain spying through camera feeds is tricked into believing his plan is working. Getaway is disposable entertainment and despite the visualization and fast editing it still manages to bore.
Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is a former race-car driver, who turned to a life of crime after his glory days on the track were over. Now, a mysterious voice on the other end of a cell phone has informed Magna that his wife has been taken, and he is to steal a souped-up Mustang Shelby and tear ass through the mostly vacant, and traffic-free streets of Bulgaria under direct orders. Then a young woman (Selena Gomez) tries to carjack the wrong vehicle and becomes a sidekick to the desperate man behind the wheel of the hot-rod. The partnership turns into a paternal bond between Magna and “The Kid.”
Despite some inventive ways of photographing a vehicle in motion, an extended first-person p.o.v. shot in pursuit of another car at high speeds is exhilarating, a little of this goes a long way. By the time the film gives us that ‘money shot’ it’s almost wasted because of the ninety minutes of visual mayhem that proceeds it. Hawke and Gomez make an unlikely screen pairing, I have a feeling that the role was originally written for a male, but the actors bring a level of professionalism that keeps this from being another unwatchable action flick shot on the cheap in Romania. The camera work and direction is commendable, but the script is an absolute howler that proves itself inconsequential by film’s end.
Director: Courtney Solomon
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight