Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez are one sorry movie duo in Getaway. This film is a sure sign that the summer-movie season is coming to an end: Studios have started dumping their crap.
Hawke plays Brent, a former race-car driver who comes home to find his Christmas tree in disarray—and his wife gone. He gets a call from Jon Voight’s ugly mouth (that’s the only part of the actor we see for most of the movie) telling him to get in a crazy-awesome car in the parking garage, and start taking his orders.
If not, the wife gets it.
Brent does what he’s told and starts driving like a maniac in a tripped-out Mustang rigged with numerous cameras. After successfully driving through a crowded park without killing anybody (this is a PG-13 movie, after all), the annoying Selena Gomez winds up in his car as a tough girl (she wears a baseball cap and a hoodie, you see) who wants her car back. This movie might’ve been better had Hawke been required to drive solo.
There’s no reason to call this movie Getaway. Getaway implies that an actual heist or something has occurred, and somebody is trying to “get away” in the car. This movie should be called something like Driving Around All Crazy Because Jon Voight Is Telling Me To, or perhaps Driving Toward an Unknown Whatever as a Slave to Jon Voight’s Mouth, or simply Absolutely Nothing to Do With Getting Away.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: Ethan Hawke always does a good job when he’s required to act frightened, as in films like Training Day and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. He is OK in this movie, as he was in the recent The Purge, with both films requiring him to be freaked out.
Sadly, these two films also hold the dubious distinction of being two of the year’s lamer movies.
Gomez is also in two of the year’s worst films: this one, and the execrable Spring Breakers. But unlike Hawke, she does not do a decent job of playing freaked out. Her dialogue in this film consists of repeated usage of words like: “Look out!” “I hate you!” “We’re going to die!” and “I like bacon and gummy bears!” (Actually, she never says that last one. If she had, that would’ve been refreshing and different.)
Even though Voight’s character has required Hawke to keep the Gomez character in the car, she does get many legitimate opportunities to leave. However, she always comes back, and when Hawke asks why, her reply is something along the lines of: “Because I want to.” That’s deep man … really deep.
This is essentially 90 minutes of a car going fast with some rather upset people inside, and visuals of Jon Voight’s gross, unshaven face. I’m starting to miss Vin Diesel acting all serious and mopey in the Fast and Furious films. (The new Riddick movie is coming out next week, so I guess I’ll get my fix.)
On paper, I suppose a 90-minute car chase has some appeal. People love cars, and people love car chases even more—so why not do that for the entire film? Well, director Courtney Solomon has a way of making a car chase tedious after about three minutes.
The film is left open for a sequel. However, all parties need to get any notion of a sequel out of their minds. They need to go play golf, or read some poetry, or do something else. We don’t need any other films called Getaway that have nothing to do with actually getting away.
Getaway is playing at theaters across the valley.