‘Getaway’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 9th, 2014 at 6:49 pm,

getaway movie review Getaway Review

Solomon’s direction is so amateurish that Getaway fails to even provide serviceable B-movie thrills – and leaves you wondering if this flick would even pass Film School 101 standards.

In Getaway, Ethan Hawke plays former professional race-car driver Brent Magna, who comes home one day to discover that his place has been trashed and his wife Leanne (Rebecca Budig) is gone. Brent then gets a phone call from a mysterious man (Jon Voight) with a Bulgarian accent, who claims that he has kidnapped Leanne – and commands Hawke’s NASCAR washout to obey his every command, if the latter ever wants to see her (alive) again.

Brent’s first order of business is to steal a heavily-armored Shelby Super Snake Mustang, which his unknown criminal ‘boss’ has covered with security cameras so that he may keep a watchful eye on his ‘employee.’ Shortly thereafter, Brent unwittingly picks up a young woman (Selena Gomez) who, at first glance, appears to be trying to hijack the Mustang. However, it turns out that the anonymous girl is not a thief at all, but an integral part of a convoluted plan devised by “The Voice”; not to mention, she is the only person who can help Brent save his wife.

Getaway was directed by Courtney Solomon, whose previous movies include the infamous Dungeons & Dragons live-action movie adaptation and the unmemorable horror feature An American Haunting. Somehow, despite having set the bar so low with his first two films, Solomon’s latest project might be his biggest turkey yet, between the dunder-headed screenwriting, lack of character development, absence of thematic substance, and an over-abundance of poorly-executed vehicular action sequences. Unfortunately, Getaway isn’t even an unhealthy, yet tasty serving of ham and cheese like Solomon’s D&D adaptation – it’s just a flavorless dish.

getaway movie review jon voight Getaway Review

Jon Voight in ‘Getaway’

The Getaway script written by newcomers Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker is a mess; yet, it seems as though their intention was to produce a clever variation on the single-setting B-movie sub-genre – one that offers an underlying message, no less (think Phone Booth, if the “Booth” had been a fast-moving car). It’s too bad then that the screenwriters apparently forgot to include such basic ingredients as meaningful character-establishing moments, coherent plot beats or dialogue that is anything more than perfunctory and bland. By the time the end credits start rolling, the story is so littered with holes and questionable character actions that it’s hard to figure out a proper spot to start nit-picking.

Hawke and Gomez, for their part, make for one of the worst onscreen pairings in recent memory. Hawke does attempt to bring some genuine emotional weight and personality to his character, but he’s given so little in terms of decent material to draw from that it’s hard to blame him too much for a half-hearted performance. Gomez, meanwhile, plays the foul-mouthed, young, and tech-savvy foil to Hawke’s world-weary and street-smart protagonist. However, the actress/singer’s flat line delivery and stilted mannerisms makes her sidekick character seem far less tough and smart than she’s meant to be. (As for Voight as “The Voice,” he is neither that sinister nor cartoonishly over the top – just kind of boring, really.)

getaway movie review gomez hawkes Getaway Review

Selena Gomez and Ethan Hawke in ‘Getaway’

Getaway starts off clunky, as editor Ryan Dufrene (Terror Trap) drops the audience right into the action while jumping awkwardly between the present and black-and-white flashbacks. Thereafter, Dufrene frantically cuts back and forth between the many different shot angles captured by the cinematographer Yaron Levy (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning), who makes heavy use of the grainy (read: ugly) footage from security cameras that are attached to the central Mustang set piece. While Levy’s approach results in some unconventional composition, the ADD-style editing robs them of any impact they might’ve had when combined to form the film’s many action sequences.

The even bigger problem? Getaway is closer to being a non-stop chase sequence – where characters occasionally stop to do something and figure out where they are heading next – rather than a real three-act narrative. That would be okay, if the limited settings and thrill-ride structure actually served to illustrate the purpose of the antagonist’s plan (which is utterly preposterous, when you pause to think it over), or bring more depth to the main characters and the film. However that’s not the case, and instead Getaway boils down to a series of action scenes that result in a ton of automobiles being wrecked – yet, because the execution is muddled, even the car racing isn’t that enjoyable to watch (and gets real repetitive real quick).

getaway review ethan hawkes Getaway Review

Basically, Solomon’s direction is so amateurish that Getaway fails to even provide serviceable B-movie thrills – and leaves you wondering if this flick would even pass Film School 101 standards. Vehicle-crash porn enthusiasts (that’s a term, right?) will even struggle to find much to like about the movie, given that the action often feels like a D-grade variation on the automobile racing in the worst Fast and the Furious installment.

As one audience member who had accompanied her boyfriend to my screening put it (very loudly and multiple times once the credits started rolling): “That was SO stupid.” Indeed.

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Getaway is 94 minutes long and Rated PG-13 for intense action, violence and mayhem throughout, some rude gestures and language. Now playing in theaters.

Our Rating:

1 out of 5

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Getaway
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  1. A Sandy Schaefer 1 Star is case closed.

    I was curious about this because of Jon
    Voight more than the rest of the cast.
    Jon has been stealing every scene
    lately in Ray Donovan on TV.

    • Voight does a good accent in this film (to my ears, anyway), but yeah, he’s otherwise wasted here.

      • Yeah, wasted. I was about to say that was my impression on Jon Voight.
        The accent sounded fine to me too in the trailer but even that was
        not really necessary, just tell Jon do sinister and give him room.
        The character profiles appear overwritten trying too hard.

        I have become suspicious of any film these days with
        about a 90 minute running time which seems to mean
        maximize showtimes before word of mouth catches up.

  2. Sandy, let me begin by saying that you are awesome.

    Also, I figured this movie was a no-go for me when I saw Gomez. I also had friends describe it to me as “If Taken was too smart for you…” and I figured I had to pass.

    Great review!

    • hahhaha “Taken was too smart for you….”


  3. I knew it would be bad. Hell, we all knew it would be bad. But I didn’t realize it would be THAT bad.

    Sandy, does SR give you a bonus whenever you’re forced to suffer through a movie like this?

    • I’d love to answer that question, but if I do Vic’ll go all Jack Bauer on me.

      • Ha!

      • Well, there is the concept of combat pay :D

  4. Sounds like the car stole the spotlight

  5. ONE star ! LOL !

  6. 1% on Rotten Tomatoes now. Was 0% a few hours ago, lol.

  7. Selena Gomez. What a waste of your talent!

    Where’s Miley Cyrus when we NEED her?

    • She’s entertaining a Beetlejuice clone.

  8. man I really like ethan I wish he could do better things

    • Before Midnight is supposedly very good but no one saw it.

      • Before Midnight is excellent, just like the first two “Before” movies. Ethan Hawke’s best work in my opinion. He’s a talented actor, just gets put in some bad movies.

        • I recently ordered the first two
          so I could give the third a view.

          Ethan is talented and should have
          had a bigger and better career so far.

  9. Wow this movie sounds bad. 1 Star only? And Rotten Tomatoes only has it at 1%? Jesus.

  10. Pretty much what I expected after seeing the trailer.

  11. Ethan Hawke needs to seriously consider firing his agent. First The Purge, now this garbage.

  12. I wonder how long it takes Gomez to realize she sucks at acting…then start becoming a slut to get more attention

    • Probably not long. At least she always has her “singing” career to fall back on. Question: Which is worse her acting or singing, I really can’t decide.

  13. Ethan isn’t the first name actor to take a large cheque for what is essentially a (pun intended) vehicle for the co-star to break out into the medium (Bruce Willis for Tracy Morgen in ‘Cop Out’, Jeff Daniels for Michael Richards in ‘Trial and Error’ etc). Happens all the time. Sadness is, this may cost Ethan more than it would normally do.

    Will not cost Gomez a single thing though. She is still young enough to put any amount of iron in her fire… so to speak.

  14. Ethan Hawke is a great actor he’s just not charming enough for this type of movie, hell any type of leading man role in my opinion, he’s too scrawny and intense, he plays every role like training day and precinct 13

    This review doesn’t surprise me at all, the trailer was cringe inducing, one to avoid then!

    • Training Day, man, loved Ethan in that one.
      He went toe to toe with Denzel all the way.

    • he was good in sinister, i thought.

  15. 1 star = hopelessly hopeless?

    • I like what F. Scott Fitzgerald said about
      hopelessness and think of it if I feel hopeless:

      “One should . . . be able to see things as hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”

  16. I’m pretty sure it’s Ethan Hawke, not Hawkes. You call him Hawkes several times throughout the article.

    • We corrected that – thanks for pointing it out. I think we just subconsciously wanted John Hawkes to come in and class this film up a bit…

      • From what Sandy seems to say, I’m not sure if even John Hawkes would’ve been able to turn this mess into something good.

  17. Geez 2% on Rotten Tomatoes and 1 star from you guys. How do they mess up a movie that badly?

  18. Won’t comment on the movie but I will say that Ethan’s starting to look scarily similar to Christian Bale when he went anorexic for The Machinist. Someone should give him a meal.

    • It’s not just the calories.

      Ethan has admitted to abusing drugs
      and sadly he has the look of a user.

  19. Sandy, since pretty much nobody in their right minds will actually watch this movie (I thought it looked pretty dumb from the trailers I’ve seen, and I’m a huge Mustang fan, but even that wouldn’t make me spend money on this), can you just cure our curious minds and just tell us what the antagonist’s convoluted plan and purpose was? I’m kind of curious but not enough to watch the movie to find out. Just put **spoiler warning** before your comment, lol. But honestly, I don’t think anyone would care…

    • I understand the feeling, Ken. Not sure any spoilers
      would ever be permitted apart from a separate
      spoiler thread which this film will not merit.

      Wikipedia will have the details soon.

      Oh, got an email. IP Man to be delivered tomorrow.

      • @Robert

        Lol, yep, that’s what happens most of the time. I end up reading the summary of movies online that I’m kind of curious how it ends, but not enough to watch the movie… I guess this might be the same.

        • Sometimes I look up a movie I just watched
          it there is a WTF moment needing clarity :D
          Some movies are not worth seeing twice.

          • @Robert

            Sounds like a good reason as well. I’ve probably done that too…

            • I’ve done the opposite too, excitement about what Cloverfield might be about making me read the Wiki entry in the week before UK release.

              Made me even more excited to see the movie and weirdly, didn’t ruin it for me either.

  20. Not going to see this movie, it looks bad. Had a friend who saw it and said same thing. He gave one great example of how bad this movie was, in one scene the mirrors on the door of the Mustang get knocked off. The next, they’re right back where they were before. Somehow without stopping the car the mirrors were replaced. Now that is bad if the director cannot catch that.

  21. 1% ?..I`m not surprise

  22. (in a Christian Bale Batman voice) …it’s garbage.

  23. I just got back from seeing it. It’s actually pretty good. It serves the purpose of what it’s trying to accomplish. Car chases and lots crashes n action scenes with very little back story just to give reason for everything. You people expect every movie made to be Oscar worthy. Not gonna happen. The movie came thru on what it was trying to deliver. Stop not picking at every thing wrong with it and just enjoy it for what it is. If you are not a fan of these types of movies, then obviously you were never going to like it. Other than that there is no reason for everyone to sit here n bash it to death.

  24. I read these reviews and read your comments and realize no matter how good a movie is, or how many superstar a-listers are featured. No matter how perfect the script, how percent the acting, directing, the cinematography. There’s always going to be people that don’t like it and think that it’s total crap… Just for tht reason alone, I make sure I read your reviews AFTER I watch a movie, to see your opinions. I don’t take anyone else’s “word” for it on it being a good or bad movie. Everyone has different tastes. And not everyone will stare at the screen and notice that the mirror broke off and then it was back. Omg heaven forbid they had more important things to worry about than a tiny thing like that, the fact that the mirror was back just ruined the entire movie. Shame on them, I guess everything has to seem as realistic as possible… Oh wait, on ther hand you just don’t realize 90% of the movies you watch are fiction (not real). So what difference does that make. Smh…….

  25. very good

  26. getaway from this movie i went and during a crucial scene the guy behind me pissed on my head damn.

  27. I know no one else probably feels this way… but i actually liked the movie i give it maybe 4/5 stars. my friend agreed

  28. no kidding man the dude pissed on my head then his friends laughed at me gee.