ETHAN HAWKE SELENA GOMEZ JON VOIGHT
Studying the production of Getaway makes it sound thrilling: Every crash you see is real, there is no CGI in the film, and Ethan Hawke did most of his own stunt driving. Moreover, there are the mind-boggling figures, that Getaway has over triple the number of edits and cuts that most films have, and that the production crashed hundreds of cars in the process of making the film. However, you come to realize that all of that means zip if the film isn’t exciting or entertaining. Although the concept of real-time driving and crashing is appreciated, it would have been worth some sacrifice of these aspects if more detail had been spent on the script, which makes The Fast & The Furious seem masterful in comparison.
When his wife is kidnapped, former racecar driver Brent Magna (Hawke) is forced to drive a souped up Shelby Mustang through the most crowded streets in Bulgaria, causing mass havoc. A young teenager (Gomez), trying to get her stolen Mustang back, attempts to rob Manga. But the girl is forced inside, and they continue down specific roads, which they later notice are being closed off, creating a single path in and out of the city. The car is wired with cameras, so the kidnapper can watch and hear their every move as the entire city’s police force is chasing after them.
“The game is over if they catch you,” the voice tells him, which, anyone paying attention realizes is Jon Voight long before his identity is actually revealed. Getaway lacks intelligence in plot and technicalities, which make it fairly easy to write off early on. The car never refuels, and the amount of wear and tear on the tires is laughable. The moment teen sensation Selena Gomez arrives on screen, the film takes a turn for the worse. Her reaction to the driving is annoying at best, but of course her character seems to have all the missing answers.
There is one scene hidden between repetitive chase sequences that I found impressive, and it’s the segment near the end where a camera takes the first-person point of view on the hood of the car, and drives in real time without cuts through a long stretch of highway while in pursuit. There are lots of car chase films and almost all of them are smarter than Getaway. I’m reminded of The Great Gatsby, which was so stunning to look at but had no heart. Getaway, for all its technical achievements, is unimpressive and makes you want to get away from the film as soon as the credits roll.
Final Thought – Continues the tradition of car chase films with no brains.
By: Dustin Chase