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Overall Rating
1.38

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 12.5%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks87.5%

1 review, 2 user ratings


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Getaway
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by Peter Sobczynski

"a.k.a. Before 90 M.P.H."
1 stars

Did you sit through last year's dark psychological drama "Compliance" and wonder how different it might have been in the hands of Hal Needham? Have you found yourself considering what "Before Midnight" might have resembled if Jesse had gotten on that plane nine years earlier but was diverted to Bulgaria? Are you still disappointed that your desire to see Selena Gomez waving a gun and swearing like a trucker was not satisfied by "Spring Breakers"? If the answer to any of the above questions is "Yes," you will probably want to zip out this weekend to see "Getway," an utterly laughable would-be thriller that, it should be stated right up front, has absolutely nothing to do with the classic Jim Thompson crime novel of the same name, its two screen adaptations or anything remotely resembling coherent entertainment.

Ethan Hawke stars as Brent Magna, a once-promising race car driver who never lived up to his initial promise and soon drifted into some questionable endeavors (fill in your own "The Purge" joke here) before marrying the beautiful Leanne (Rebecca Budig) and returning to her native Bulgaria to make a fresh, clean start. One day, he comes home to a ransacked house and a disembodied voice on the phone (the questionably accented dulcet tones of Jon Voight) informing him that Leanne has been kidnapped and that if he ever wants to see her alive again, he is to spend the night behind the wheel of a tricked-out and camera-laden sports car following an increasingly destructive set of orders without getting caught or killed along the way. While hurtling through the streets, sidewalks, marketplaces and ice rinks of beautiful Bulgaria, Brent inadvertently picks up a gun-toting waif (Selena Gomez) along the way and is stuck with her for the duration of his journey. Luckily, in between whining, pouting and cursing, she proves to have information vital to accomplishing the various tasks at hand--so much information, in fact, that her presence cannot be a mere coincidence, can it? As the orgy of automotive destruction continues into the night, the two try to evade pursuit and outwit their tormentor while struggling to figure out his game plan and rescue Leanne.

The problem with most movies centered around elaborate car chases is that unless you are one of the oddball fetishists from David Cronenberg's "Crash'" the sight of watching automobiles smashing into things at high speeds gets monotonous really, really quickly. The best examples of this particular subgenre are the ones that realize this and made sure to include other elements of interest that didn't require oil changes--the musical numbers of "The Blues Brothers," the combination of cornpone humor and casual racism of "Smokey and the Bandit" and the elaborate cast lists of "The Cannonball Run" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.," to name a few. "Getaway," on the other hand, is so singularly focused on automotive mayhem (though nothing that would threaten the all-important PG-13 rating) that I would not be surprised to learn that the screenplay by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker was originally an attempt to adapt the wildly popular "Grand Theft Auto" video game franchise that was scuttled for lacking the complex plotting, likable characters and strong moral and ethical standards that have long been synonymous with the franchise. Other than the sub-Larry Cohen gimmick of setting a film almost entirely within the confines of an auto, the screenplay is as lazy as can be--so much so that two of the three main characters don't even have proper names--and makes no sense even by car chase movie standards. It also offers some of the most blatant lifts from other, better movies in a while--the manner our heroes employ to evade detection for a few minutes is literally right out of "Speed" and the final twist rips off the end of a certain horror hit in such a ludicrous manner that I have a feeling that audiences are going to rebel violently against it "The Devil Inside"-style.

For their part, the actors fail to bring anything to the table--Hawke is clearly embarrassed by the things he is forced to do for a paycheck thanks to Richard Linklater's refusal to pay a living wage, the usually likable Gomez is as unpleasant as can be and Voight seems to have been brought in to serve as an in-joke reference to a certain "Senfeld" episode. And even if you are one of those people who would be perfectly satisfied with 90 minutes of crumpling metal, "Getaway" is still unlikely to do much for you. The press releases for the film hype the fact that all the stunts were done with real cars instead of utilizing CGI, a nice consideration that is unfortunately negated by the borderline incompetent efforts of director Courtney Solomon, the auteur of "Dungeons & Dragons" and "An American Haunting," Instead of letting the stunts play out properly so that viewers can get a better appreciation and understanding of what is going on, he has instead chosen to go the rapid-fire editing route and as a result, it is oftentimes impossible to discern what is going on--everything happens at such a cartoonishly fast pace that he might as well have gone the CGI route for all the lack of impact that his action scenes contain. Hell, I just happened to be watching the Ron Howard classic "Eat My Dust" the other day and as cheap and junky as it was, I will remember its action material for much longer than anything on display here.

The only possible saving grace that "Getaway" might have with some people is that it is so laughably stupid that it is virtually impossible to take any of it seriously for even a single moment. There are plenty of unintentional laughs throughout--some of dialogue that Gomez is forced to utter in order to keep the story moving along is especially hilarious--but, like everything else, they quickly wear out their welcome as well. After seeing a good car-chase extravaganza, most viewers will find themselves temporarily seized with the urge to get into their own cars and burn rubber for a few seconds in tribute to the giddy thrills they have just seen. After watching "Getaway," most viewers will be so put off by just the mere thought of anything auto-related that they may opt for the subway instead.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=24481&reviewer=389
originally posted: 08/29/13 12:24:43
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User Comments

1/27/14 dr.lao Call me a film snob, but I think a film should involve something more than car crashes 1 stars
12/21/13 mr.mike Mindless non stop car-chase flick. Me likey! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Aug-2013 (PG-13)
  DVD: 26-Nov-2013

UK
  N/A

Australia
  30-Aug-2013
  DVD: 26-Nov-2013




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