HFF had the chance to check out the new high-speed Ethan Hawke film Getaway the other night. Our final thoughts on the movie? We were ready to getaway....from the theater. So the premise behind this non-stop-hit-you-in-the-face-with-action-and-car-crashes-from-beginning-to-end film is this: Former race car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) comes home to find that his wife has been kidnapped by some mysterious man who forces him to steal a really nice mustang and a young girl referred to only as "The Kid" (Selena Gomez) and drive around the city crashing into cars, escaping police and causing general roadway mayhem. There are a few twists and turns, but overall, that is the movie.
99% of the film is shot in the car. We do get to see things from our mysterious bad guy’s perspective since he has loaded the vehicle up with tons of cameras, both inside and out, so he can have a front row seat in his master plan. Magna is forced to follow several tasks laid out for him by his mysterious villain. He does everything from having a limited amount of time to escape the police, to having to drive through a crowded park and attempt to hit as many things as he can along the way. This film seems more fast and furious, than well, Fast and Furious, but it lacks in so many other areas. At times it plays out like a bad video game, like if Twisted Metal, Burn Out, & Grand Theft Auto got together and said, " Hey guys, let's put a movie together!" Those guys are fun on their own, but when you take bits from each one and mix them together it just becomes an over the top mess.
The acting is as lackluster as the story. Selena Gomez comes off and a whiny annoying know-it-all brat, which may be what was intended, but I wasn't feeling it. Ethan Hawke is pretty bland in this film and at times he doesn't even quite seem like the lead character. The car may be the best thing in this movie, even though it is getting beat up the whole time. The stunts were so over the top they jumped right out of the believable world and right in to "On come on..." land.
Overall, this one scores a C with me. It was just okay, nothing that is going to blow your mind. The story and characters could use some work…..okay a lot of work. The bad guy and his motive were just meh. I can’t say I would run to the theater to check this one out , but maybe wait for this one on DVD.
"Quick, let's get out of this awful movie!"