Getaway (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner08/12/2013

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Getaway is undeniably silly and riddled with both gaping plot holes and unintentionally laughable moments, but it's also rather enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way, largely thanks to a committed central performance from Ethan Hawke and pacey direction from Solomon.

What's it all about?
Directed by Courtney Solomon, Getaway (no relation to Jim Thompson novel, the Steve McQueen movie or the Alec Baldwin remake) stars Ethan Hawke as Brent Magna (no, really) an ex-racing car driver who's moved to Sofia, Bulgaria with his wife Leanne (Rebecca Budig). After Brent returns home from work to find that his wife has been kidnapped, his phone rings and a mysterious voice (Jon Voight, although you only see his mouth for the majority of the running time) orders him to follow his every instruction if he wishes to see his wife alive again.

The voice's first instruction is to steal a flashy car that's been left for him in a parking garage and fitted with multiple cameras and microphones, allowing the mysterious stranger to monitor his every move. The subsequent instructions involve a lot of speeding round Sofia, driving into things and smashing up police cars, but things get complicated when Brent is car-jacked by a young teenager (Selena Gomez as The Kid) who claims she's the original owner of the car.

The Good
Hawke delivers an engaging and committed central performance as Brent, playing it commendably straight despite the increasingly ridiculous plot. Gomez is equally good value as the enigmatic Kid (she's never named, though there are hints that she's obscenely rich) and has decent father-daughter chemistry with Hawke, although she is also saddled with some unintentionally hilarious tech-savvy dialogue moments where she somehow works out how to perform complex feats of IT genius (hacking, etc.) using only an iPad.

The plot is utter nonsense and the whole thing is slightly let down by a weak ending, but Solomon keeps things moving at a speedy pace throughout and the editing is impressive without being over-the-top. In addition, Solomon orchestrates a number of exciting chase sequences, the best of which involves a lengthy POV shot from a single camera mounted on the car (they cover so much road in that scene that you're left wondering whether they really blocked it all off or did they just take their chances and run a few red lights at 4am).

The Bad
Aside from Gomez's occasionally laughable dialogue and the fact that the plot is essentially nonsense, the film's biggest problem is that Solomon essentially cheats every stunt sequence, so that although you see countless cop cars get smashed up, fly into the air, etc, you hardly ever see them interact with Brent's car beforehand, so the context of each crash is missing.

Worth seeing?
Despite its general rubbishness on a number of levels, Getaway is ultimately something of a guilty pleasure, thanks to a likeable central performance from Ethan Hawke and a commendable approach to smashing stuff up in the name of entertainment.

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Content updated: 22/09/2018 19:21

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