Review: Getaway – You can’t escape stupid
First, let’s get this misleading title out of the way. Getaway is not a remake of the classic 1972 action-thriller, “The Getaway,” that starred Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw. Nor does it have anything to do with the 1994 remake of “The Getaway,” starring Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, also called, “The Getaway.” No, for Getaway they have removed the “The,” plus any semblance of logic, plot or entertainment value, proving that you can go as fast and as far as you like, but you can’t escape stupid.
It’s Christmas in Sofia, Bulgaria (yes, Bulgaria), and former race-car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) comes home to discover that his wife has been kidnapped and that in order to save her he must steal a souped-up Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Mustang and use the vehicle to undertake a criminal mission for a devious unseen villain (Jon Voight) who supplies directions via the car’s elaborate video camera, GPS and phone system.
The entire Bulgarian police force is after Magna, but when he finally gets a second to cool his engine, he is accosted by the actual owner of the car, literally called “The Kid” (Selena Gomez). But before you can say “big bore” (cylinder that is) the unlikely team is on the road again following “The Voice’s” inane orders, like, “Now drive onto the ice rink.”
Luckily for Magna, the feisty Kid is not only a mechanical genius, she’s also a computer hacker and multimedia wizard. Before long she figures out The Voice’s plan to steal a thumb-drive with billions of dollars’ worth of banking data, but no one (including the movie’s audience) will ever figure out why Magna has had to drive through parks, skating rinks and other public areas, endangering hundreds of lives, while being toyed with by the hidden mastermind.
A pet-peeve of mine, even in good movies, is a thing I call “techxaggeration,” when technology is exaggerated, in a non-science-fiction way, in order to advance (or create) a plot; and Getaway is a huge abuser of this gimmick. Selena Gomez is absurdly rerouting network signals and looping video feeds and all sorts of elaborate technical feats, all while in the midst of high-speed car chases. Meanwhile, The Voice conducts the entire affair from a couple of laptops he’s set up in the middle of some European nightclub.
Speaking of “The Voice,” all we see (or hear) of Jon Voight is his hairy lips, gnarly teeth and bad fake-European accent. Now, why you would go to the effort and expense of having an excellent veteran actor like Voight in your film and then not show him on screen defies all logic; but the strategy is in keeping with the overall poor and dumb quality of this film. That and I don’t blame Voight for not wanting to be seen in this terrible movie.
Getaway is directed by Courtney Solomon, who helmed the equally bad Dungeons & Dragons film way back in 2000. The movie is written by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker, although I’m not sure how one writes ninety minutes of uninspired car chases, let alone why it takes two people.
If you are a car fanatic and watching a Shelby Super Snake be put through its paces appeals to you, then you might find some redeeming value in this film, for all others I think you’ll find it to be a complete and utter wreck. This is easily one of the worst films so far this year. Grade: 2/10
Photos © 2013 After Dark Films