Getaway Movie Review
Getaway is not the worst movie of the year. But it comes damn close.
A perfect example of how not to make a movie, Getaway suffers from a variety of problems, some more sacrilegious than others. The movie boasts incomprehensible plotting, chaotic editing and, strangely, an overload of action. It also completely fails to take advantage of Selena Gomez's sex appeal, and, much, much worse, Jon Voight's talent.
And his sex appeal, too.
Ethan Hawke stars as a former racecar driver whose wife is kidnapped by a mysterious dude with a foreign accent. He is forced to steal a young woman's car that has been outfitted with cameras and GPS and perform a series of dangerous acts behind the wheel. Why, I'm not entirely sure the filmmakers even know.
Getaway is essentially a variation of Speed, only reinvented for the Fast and Furious crowd. But whereas Speed featured a scene-chewing Dennis Hopper as the villain, interesting characters and a criminal plot that unfolds over time, director Courtney Solomon (Dungeons & Dragons) and first-time writers Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker appear to have made Getaway with no thought given to anything their audience might find valuable. Like the villain. The characters. Or the plot.
Getaway speeds along at breakneck speed, with Hawke driving his car from one ridiculous situation to the next, somehow escaping each with little harm done to him or the vehicle despite hitting a thousand things. I would say it's hard to be bored by it all, but I fell asleep halfway through and had to rewind to try and figure out what the hell was happening.
But even if you do appreciate the nonstop action, there's just something off about the whole production. Every sequence seems thrown together without any sense of building toward something greater. The action isn't suspenseful or exciting. Furthermore, the explanation for the villain's motivations are laughable; the filmmakers may not have realized this, but as a result they make the entire movie laughable.
And... why cast Jon Voight if you're barely going to use him?
The film's one saving grace is a surprisingly cool chase toward the end where Solomon attaches a camera to the car's exterior and guides the audience through city streets. No actors. No reliance on crappy dialogue or plotting. Just pure, visceral camerawork with a car's engine roaring in surround sound. It's not enough to save the movie, but it's a lot of fun.
Getaway is a terrible written, poorly acted, choppily edited action film that wastes the presence of Jon Voight, but thanks to one car chase sequence at the end of the movie (and one other picture that is even worse), it is not the worst movie of 2013. But that's not saying much.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.