I have to start by addressing Ethan Hawke (because I’m so sure he reads this site). What were you thinking? I mean you’ve made some strange and questionable movie choices recently but none as mind-boggling as this. You’re a talented actor Mr. Hawke. Your work in movies like “Training Day” and the “Before” trilogy proves it. But if I may be blunt, your film “Getaway” absolutely sucked. And let me add a quick bit of advice. If anyone on your “staff”, whether it be an advisor or agent, recommended that you take this role, fire them immediately. Trust me, it’s for the good of your career.
Now with that out of the way, “Getaway” is one of these movies that has an obvious ambition but it fails to realize it in practically every regard. It’s poorly written, poorly acted, poorly directed, and poorly edited. Even the likable Ethan Hawke can’t save the film from its sleep-inducing monotony and overall lack of intelligence. It’s no surprise the film wasn’t able to come close to reaching its $18 million budget.
Hawke plays a former race car driver named Brent Magna (gotta love that name). One day he comes home from work to find his wife has been abducted. A mysterious man calls him to take responsibility and to give him a wild assortment of tasks to carry out in order to get her back. The first task leads him to a fully customized Shelby Mustang. It has all the normal accessories: AM/FM radio, power windows, automatic transmission, armored plating, bulletproof glass, and a number of cameras so that the kidnapper can keep up with Brent’s whereabouts. He takes the car and is told to follow the man’s instructions implicitly and if he gets caught by the cops his wife dies.
From there the movie collapses into eye-rolling stupidity. Some of these tasks that Brent is asked to do make no sense whatsoever. They are mainly just reasons to drive the car really fast. That’s really all this film is – an endless parade of high speed chases many of which are some of the worst ever filmed. They are extremely repetitious with little variation at all. At one point I honestly wondered if I was watching the same chase sequence from earlier in the film just from a different camera angle. There is very little creativity to them and practically no thrills. Just a mind-numbing assembly line of wrecked cars and engine roars.
“Getaway” does try to expand its tissue paper-thin plot by throwing in a girl known only as ‘The Kid’ (Selena Gomez). She ends up in the car and her role mainly consists of having a bad attitude and spitting out expletives. She is a terrible character shoehorned in by the dumbest contrivance. In fact, that’s a great way to summarize this movie. It’s one of the (unintentionally) dumbest movies of last year built around one of the worst scripts of the year. And the car chases (which should be the film’s saving grace) are the blandest and most repetitive scenes to endure. This is an awful movie and again I ask “Ethan Hawke, what were you thinking?”