‘Getaway’: A sorry excuse to crash cars

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Jordan gives “Getaway” a thumbs down.   

If you want a film that has multiple car crashes, some explosions and fast driving, “Getaway” is the film for you.

As I watched the trailer for “Getaway,” I thought it would be a good one to review, but as I sat through the movie, I realized I had made the wrong choice. It’s supposed to be an action thriller, but the film lacks the emotion needed for the audience to connect with the intensity of its situation.

Former race-car driver Brent Magna, played by Ethan Hawke, comes home from work to find his wife kidnapped. He is then contacted by The Voice, played by Jon Voight, and told he must do dangerous escape and driving tasks to keep his wife alive.

I’m all for having a mysterious voice as the villain and slowly revealing who the villain actually is, but it should have been casted as someone with a more memorable voice, like Morgan Freeman or Jack Nicholson. Even if they chose the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” narrator Anthony Hopkins as The Voice, it might have turned out better.

Another problem with The Voice was that Voight’s entire face was only shown once throughout the entire film. Voight is a great actor, so the producers should have shown him more often.

Magna steals a car that is stacked with cameras and microphones so The Voice can see and hear everything in the car. Shortly after Magna steals the car, he meets Selena Gomez, who plays as The Kid. The Kid turns out to be the owner of the stolen car, which I thought was an interesting turn of events.

Shortly after this, I realized this movie was not what I hoped it would be. As Magna drove around dodging a plethora of vehicles, The Kid kept screaming, swearing and whining. This continued for some time—long enough that I was annoyed with her for the remainder of the movie.

Without The Kid, this movie could have been a lot better. Additionally, there was not enough of reason attached to Magna’s kidnapped wife, Leann, played by Rebecca Budig. She disappears at the beginning and is only shown randomly throughout as a memory or being tortured.

The film as a whole wasn’t entirely bad. I liked the action for the most part, and there were plenty of chase scenes, which led to a lot of destroyed vehicles.

However, the chases were very predictable and the filming was confusing. The audience were only shown shots of a crash, a close-up of Magna and The Kid, or a quick shot of the custom Shelby Mustang.

Eventually, Magna and The Kid turn the odds in their favor by solving The Voice’s plan. They then plan to meet up with The Voice for a trade for Leanne. Not everything goes as planned, and Magna ends up back in the Mustang chasing The Voice.

Overall, the film was poorly made and was just a reason to destroy some vehicles and blow up a building. Gomez played a terrible part as a rich, tech-savvy, yet somehow ditzy girl. Hawke and Voight played their parts well, but the producers didn’t use them to their full potential.

I would rate “Getaway” one and a half out of five stars: It’s not worth the time and money to see it.

Matthew agrees.

Poor Ethan Hawke.

Heaven knows his agent probably tries to get him good gigs, but instead he’s been ending up with the crumbs of the proverbial blockbuster pie. I last saw him in the vampire craze-induced flop “Daybreakers,” and he’s since starred in the equally panned “Sinister” and “The Purge,” neither of which I had any desire to see. 

And he’s not breaking his losing streak any time soon, it seems. I don’t know if he’s just grabbing any work he can get, or if he genuinely thought it was a good script, but his choosing to star in “Getaway” isn’t doing him any favors. 

I didn’t believe for a second that his character cared about his wife. And, for that matter, I didn’t believe his wife was a good actor at all. Voigt’s on-screen appearances were reduced to epileptic shots of eyes and mouth, and his dialogue seemed like it was hastily cut and spliced from one long monologue.

Throw in a little ex-Bieber girlfriend action, and you’ve got what feels like a bunch of folks phoning it in just for a paycheck.

And while I’m all for a little choppy camera action to add to the feel of a film, I think the director of photography for “Getaway” was far too invested in making the audience feel jarred.

The only time the camera stood still long enough for me to digest what was going on, it was on a close-up of Selena Gomez’s face.

No thanks. 

The story is not only implausible, but it’s just plain ridiculous. We weren’t given any back story to appreciate anything that was going on, and the story didn’t pay off in the end for all the nauseating camera stunts we were subjected to.

I’d say the one redeeming factor for “Getaway” is the entertaining fact that, in the city these people all live in, there are thousands of police vehicles driven by what can only be described as partially blind drivers education students. I think there ended up being only two or three cop cars that didn’t topple and flip. 

“Yakety Sax” should have been playing the whole time. It really would have made the film awesome.

“Getaway” didn’t get away quick enough. It’s not getting its degree any time soon. I’m grading it with a big fat D. Ethan Hawk’s GPA is not looking good right about now.