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Review: Getaway

Aug. 29, 2013by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: Ethan Hawke plays Brent Magna (lol), a former racer-turned-wheelman, forced by a mysterious stranger to steal a customized Shelby Mustang Super Snake, and then to embark on a reign of terror through Sofia, Bulgaria, in order to save his kidnapped wife. Along the way, he picks up a spoiled rich kid (Selena Gomez) who also happens to be the Mustang's original owner.

REVIEW: Who doesn't love a car chase? How many of us get behind the wheel of our cars and fantasize, even if only for a moment, that we're Steve McQueen in BULLITT? The answer- everyone. Still, as much as I love a good chase, a ninety-minute movie that's essentially one long car chase is something else. It's been done before (the 1994 Charlie Sheen vehicle THE CHASE) and it didn't work then, and doesn't really work now.

I'll give GETAWAY director Courtney Solomon this- it takes balls to name your wannabe Steve McQueen homage after one of his best vehicles, THE GETAWAY, to which this is otherwise unrelated (which was also remade as an Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger vehicle in the nineties). Solomon, who also directed the abysmal DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and AN AMERICAN HAUNTING, does indeed seem to know his car chase cinema. Towards the end, there's even an homage to the great French chase short, C'ÉTAIT UN RENDEZVOUS, which showed a crazy high speed drive through Paris through the P.O.V of the driver. There's also little to no CGI here, which is always a plus in an action movie.

However, the big issue with GETAWAY is that none of the chases are as thrilling as they should be. Part of the problem is that there's so many of them (essentially the entire running-time) that after the first chase or two- which are only supposed to be whetting our appetite- they get monotonous. The chases also aren't anything you haven't seen before with a big deal being made out of Ethan Hawke having to drive through a crowded park, even though the same thing was done- better- in DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE.

The other problem is that Hawke, as good an actor as he is, is no Steve McQueen. He tries to be cool, wearing a hip leather jacket, but rather than pull off the laconic McQueen thing, he just seems bored. Throwing Selena Gomez into the mix also seems like a terrible idea, with her being particularly unconvincing as a computer whiz/gearhead. I only really know Gomez from the pop tunes we play at the Montreal radio station I work at and SPRING BREAKERS (which I loved), so I have nothing against her, but she doesn't at all suit this kind of movie, and is an obtrusive presence.

Still, Gomez is far from the only problem with GETAWAY, and it doesn't help that this is yet another TAKEN knock-off, with the only real difference being that instead of the hero's daughter being taken, it's his wife. Heck, the mean, accented voice on the phone (which is obviously Jon Voight doing a goofy German accent) even says, “your wife's been taken.” It's been done man.

I really can't recommend GETAWAY to anyone, as it's just another recycled actioner. The leads are unconvincing, the thrills are non-existent, and the chases are only so-so (the editing doesn't help). Maybe if you're an absolute car fanatic you'll like this (it really does seem like just one long commercial for the Super Snake), but even still there are many, many better options for you out there.

Extra Tidbit: Now THIS is a car chase!
Source: JoBlo.com

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8:34AM on 08/30/2013
As much as i love Ethan Hawke (gattaca, before sunset) I absolutely hated the purge..it was. the biggest piece of shit movie ive seen in a while. and due tot he fact that selena gomez is in this I will never watch it. hopefully he'll get a decent role soon
As much as i love Ethan Hawke (gattaca, before sunset) I absolutely hated the purge..it was. the biggest piece of shit movie ive seen in a while. and due tot he fact that selena gomez is in this I will never watch it. hopefully he'll get a decent role soon
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3:27AM on 08/30/2013

He just keeps coming up short...

He is always involved with movies that have a really good idea behind them, and they just come up short. I wanted to Love Daybreakers, but something was missing, I wanted to Love The Purge, but something was just missing. Also how dare this movie take the title of one of my favorite movies, The Getaway, starring Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, and James Woods!
He is always involved with movies that have a really good idea behind them, and they just come up short. I wanted to Love Daybreakers, but something was missing, I wanted to Love The Purge, but something was just missing. Also how dare this movie take the title of one of my favorite movies, The Getaway, starring Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, and James Woods!
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1:20PM on 08/29/2013
"We are all Marco!" "We are all from Tropoya!"
"We are all Marco!" "We are all from Tropoya!"
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12:01PM on 08/29/2013

Great review, I didn't even read the rest after "Brent Magna (lol),"

Great review, I didn't even read the rest after "Brent Magna (lol)," but I knew that was the beginning of a great review.
Great review, I didn't even read the rest after "Brent Magna (lol)," but I knew that was the beginning of a great review.
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9:33AM on 08/29/2013
I think we should put Ethan Hawke in movie jail. Other then Sinister he hasn't done anything really good since Training Day.
I think we should put Ethan Hawke in movie jail. Other then Sinister he hasn't done anything really good since Training Day.
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10:53AM on 08/29/2013
Um... Before Midnight?
Um... Before Midnight?
3:47PM on 08/29/2013
And Before Sunset. Daybreakers wasn't all that bad either.
And Before Sunset. Daybreakers wasn't all that bad either.
7:37AM on 08/29/2013

I'm kind of laughing at JoBlo's coverage of this

It starts off appropriately skeptical, and then as the movie gets closer and more promotional materials are released, the buzz gets more positive... and then the inevitable panning. For a while, the staff was saying this looked like a "great, tight little action flick" or something to that effect. Nope - just a formulaic end of summer movie birthed by a studio head and a casting agent.
It starts off appropriately skeptical, and then as the movie gets closer and more promotional materials are released, the buzz gets more positive... and then the inevitable panning. For a while, the staff was saying this looked like a "great, tight little action flick" or something to that effect. Nope - just a formulaic end of summer movie birthed by a studio head and a casting agent.
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5:20AM on 08/29/2013
Well, I'll just watch this for Ford Mustang.
Well, I'll just watch this for Ford Mustang.
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4:27AM on 08/29/2013
Pretty much what I was expecting. There are worse ways Hawke could be paying his bills and I'll still see this as a rental or something. It seems like it would work well on VOD.
Pretty much what I was expecting. There are worse ways Hawke could be paying his bills and I'll still see this as a rental or something. It seems like it would work well on VOD.
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