Like last week’s Paranoia, Getaway signifies one of the last spurts of mediocre action flicks before summer officially ends- that being a kind of undefined, nebulous time frame as far as movies are concerned. Also like Paranoia, the film is an amalgamation of other, much better movies, mashed together into a homogenous mess that only an out of touch Hollywood executive would deem vaguely sellable.
Directed by Courtney Solomon (a male, in case you were wondering) of the phenomenally mediocre Dungeons & Dragons and An American Haunting, and written by Gregg Parker and Sean Finnegan, Getaway is perhaps one of the most ill conceived, generic titles I’ve seen all year. The gimmick this time around is that a lot of the action sequences and car chases are captured via dashboard cameras or cameras mounted on various parts of the car itself. The uncomfortably frenetic, migraine-inducing direction only serves to enrage and distract- and I hope you like watching the same, generic cop cars spinning out and crashing ad nauseam because that’s essentially 85 percent of the action.
Again, in reference to Paranoia, Getaway is neck and neck with the former film for the worst-cast production of the year. Don’t get me wrong, Ethan Hawke is a perfectly decent actor, as evidenced by his outstanding work in Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. He has, however, been in some terrifically awful movies this summer including The Purge and now Getaway; things have gotten to a point where I’ve now started to wonder if he’s really hurting for cash these days. And, oh, let me stop here lest I forget the real star of the show, Selena Gomez, that chubby-cheeked, chipmunk-voiced ex-Disney starlet, whose every line of dialogue was like having molten lead poured down my ear canals and whose infuriatingly entitled, senseless antagonism coupled with the fact that she’s about as intimidating as Mother Theresa mad me want to beat her about the head with a pair of flaming boxing gloves. Perhaps I’m missing the point though, and the writers were ironically trying to make Gomez’s character the most hated fictional icon in all of cinema, but then again, it would be remiss of me to assume such sophistication of the part of the creative team when the rest of the plot is so inane.
I mentioned before that Getaway is a mixture of lots of other, better executed movies, specifically Drive, complete with toothpick munching protagonist, crossed with Transporter minus any of the charismatic action crossed with Man on Fire minus any imagination whatsoever. That’s really the result of any attempt to Frankenstein movies together like this: an unimaginative, bland mass that’s so overwhelmingly safe that it can’t justify it’s own existence.
The plot progresses essentially how you’d expect if you’ve seen even an iota of press about this movie. The straight-talking driver reluctantly teams up with the inexplicably technologically capable young ruffian, in an effort to rescue the driver’s wife who’s been kidnapped by a faceless voice who commands the duo to carry out various tasks in their automotive death machine in exchange for the aforementioned wife’s life. Would you like to know who that antagonist turns out to be? Well so would I, because after stringing the audience along on it’s meaningless little sightseeing tour, Getaway reveals that the big baddie against whom Hawke has been valiantly fighting for his life while putting up with Gomez’s insufferable antics is someone completely unrelated to the story thus far and has virtually no interest in the success or failure of Hawke’s character whatsoever. We see him for about a quarter of a second at the very end of the film as he’s walking out of a club, on a completely different continent from where the action takes place, I might add. That’s all there is. The characters have learned nothing, achieved nothing, and the action might as well have taken place on a different planet for all the good it did.
Stripped of its gimmicks that weren’t implemented all that well to begin with, Getaway is the definition of a generic Hollywood action flick, mechanically produced by the studios with the sole purpose of selling as many tickets as possible before summer is over for good. It’s a bland, unimaginative experience with terrible casting, boring action, and furthermore a shameless waste of time and money.
Rating: 1 out of 5