Cliché thriller featuring Selena Gomez lacks quality
What makes a car chase movie special? Certainly not what Courtney Solomon’s latest flick “Getaway” presented. The movie was terribly cliché and so ridiculously unrealistic that to sit through the whole hour and a half film was nightmarish.
Ethan Hawke plays a retired race car driver, Brent, whose wife was kidnapped and taken hostage. To save her, Brent must follow the instructions of a voice coming from the speakers of the car (Jon Voight). The voice takes him all around Sofia, Bulgaria, giving instructions and monitoring his actions through a video system. One stop brings him to a teenage girl (Selena Gomez) who the voice tells Brent to take with him. She becomes his passenger for the rest of the movie, even outwitting the villainous “voice” by effortlessly dismantling the video monitoring system.
For a movie focused on a mysterious voice, “Getaway” has far too little meaningful dialogue. Gomez’s character, who is not given a name, and Brent seem to be the only invincible ones in the story. Brent knocks out police officers and innocent people solely because the car’s voice tells Brent these actions are his mission, but he and his passenger are never harmed.
Car chases don’t have to be bad. In fact, many movies do them really well. But watching a movie that is simply a violent car chase with a hard-to-follow, badly written script is almost unbearable. Gomez has given good performances in the past, but this is not one of them. Her character is static and uninteresting, hardly contributing anything to the story. Hawke is along the same lines — he does serious acting well, but his performance in this film is especially lackluster.
To be fair, a two-minute uninterrupted clip shot from the hood of the car near the end of the film is unexpectedly thrilling. If you’re still there by this point in the film, it’s a gripping scene to watch.
The irony of films like this is the value put on human lives. While the whole mission of the movie is for Brent to find and save his wife, he throws away the lives of others extremely easily. One time, his high-speed car crashes into buildings and sends police officers on motorcycles flying.
“Getaway” focuses too much on what it thinks the audience will want — fast-paced dramatic chases and little dialogue — and neglects to appeal to those who actually want a story and a quality movie. If you enjoy watching two actors give mediocre performances and long sequences of cars speeding by, then maybe “Getaway” is the movie for you — at least the movie ticket is cheaper than seats at a Nascar race.