Thursday, September 5, 2013

Getaway (2013)

**SOME slight and minor spoilers, but no plot twists or reveals are included in this review**

During the Christmas season, an ex race-car driver named Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is forced into a series of missions to save his kidnapped wife, Leanne (Rebecca Budig). Following the orders of a mysterious voice, Brent steals a Shelby Mustang Super Snake equipped with surveillance cameras out of a parking garage, but Brent runs into some trouble, when a teenage girl threatens him at gunpoint.

The Kid (Selena Gomez) wants the car, but The Voice commands Brent to take the girl as a hostage and an assistant for his planned missions. If Brent is caught by the police, or if he doesn’t succeed in his missions, The Voice promises to kill his wife. Time is running out as Brent races through the city with the uncooperative Kid, but who is The Voice, and why is he determined to torture Brent?

I’m always indifferent to Ethan Hawke. I don’t think he’s a horrible actor or anything like that, but I’ve never seen one truly great performance from him. As usual, Hawke portrays a conflicted man, who’s torn between doing the right thing to save his loved ones, or doing something unethical to make lots of money and/or save his family  (think Training Day, and more recently Sinister). Brent mentions how he fell on hard times after an accident on the race track, and how he had to turn to a life of crime to put some money in his pocket and provide a living for himself and his wife. Hawke is believable here, but his performance isn’t good enough to elevate the quality of this film.

Selena Gomez? She seems like a real nice and humble person in real life to the point, where I almost feel bad saying something negative about her. But she’s not believable in her role, at all. The Kid (they never mention her real name) is supposed to be this tough, rebellious, and savvy tech expert, and there’s a scene where Gomez flips off a garbage truck driver, that almost crashed into the Mustang. Yeah, I’m sorry, but Gomez’s look is far too innocent and cute to pull off such a character. Gomez looks like the type of person, who enjoys blueberry muffins and all things pink, not someone who uses foul language, and holds a gun to your head.

By now you should know Getaway is being panned by the critics, and it’s a box office flop. Well, Getaway is a generic action/thriller for the most part, and Getaway is by far one of the most preposterous films I’ve seen this year. I love how every time Brent and The Kid run into some trouble while trying to outrun the cops, Brent conveniently finds an open alleyway, a spot to hide the car, and a flight of stairs to drive down into parks and open fields. I know the Mustang is supposed to be an armored car, but come on now. I can’t count the number of times other cars crash into the Mustang, the Mustang runs into some blockade, or other cars run the Mustang off the road, and SOMEHOW Brent just keeps driving along, as he escapes the cop’s numerous attempts to catch him. And towards the end, Brent is able to drive through a huge traffic jam, when damn near every street in the city is blocked off.

You’ll see plenty of complaints out there about the hectic editing and quick cuts during Brent’s high speed chases through the city. Well, I can sort of understand the logic behind that. You see, The Voice had his people attach cameras to the Mustang, so you’re not only seeing Brent and The Kid’s point of view from the Mustang, you’re seeing The Voice’s POVs also, as he watches everything on different cameras. I’ll admit, watching the chases from the POV of the cameras can be nauseating at times, but overall, I thought it was a unique technique to see everything from The Voice’s eyes.

Getaway is LOADED with problems, but I’ll give the writers some credit for a few surprising twists surrounding Gomez’s character and The Voice. They don’t show The Voice’s face until the end, so until the finale, they tease you with sporadic shots of his mouth and eyes. I mean, you should know, who he is. It’s not that hard to figure out if you pay attention to the trailers and TV spots, and the man behind The Voice is someone, who’s been around for a while. But my praise for the twists surrounding The Voice aren’t towards concealing his identity. It’s for the genuinely shocking bait-and-switch trick they pull at the end.

Hard rating, because I’d be lying to you, if I said I didn’t laugh my ass off throughout this film. The chase scenes are repetitive. Brent somehow finds an open alleyway or a flight of stairs, and as Brent swerves around the cops, their cars crash into something else, causing an endless barrage of cop cars doing 360 flips in the air. Still, I really don’t think Getaway is as bad as people are making it out to be. I had some fun with this one as a guilty pleasure, but I couldn’t live with myself if I went with a positive score.

Rating: 4/10

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