Not sure what the producers (last count, 16 of them) were thinking, but with a bad script, thin characters and choppy editing, Getaway was a car-wreck from the beginning and save for some cool stunt work and a cool one-shot sequence, there’s nothing redeemable about this action-thriller and should’ve been placed on shelves with the other forgettable flicks.
Genre(s): Action, Suspense
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 90 min. – $29.98 | November 26, 2013
Directed by: Courtney Solomon
Writer(s): Sean Finegan & Gregg Maxwell Parker (written by)
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight
Theatrical Release Date: August 30, 2013
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 20.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 1.75/5
Note: This contains spoilers about the plot, if you at all care…
Getaway is a bad film, plain and simple. It’s no wonder why Warner chose to release it with little fanfare, not that the horrible reviews didn’t helped in that endeavor. Despite a mere $18 million budget, the film still couldn’t make its money back pulling a paltry $10.5 million after a brief 5 week theatrical stint. I have to wonder if this weren’t produced by Joel Silver if Warner wouldn’t have just released this turkey straight to Blu-ray/DVD.
Brent Magna (ETHAN HAWKE) is a former NASCAR driver who, pardon the pun, crashed and burned in spite of some driving talents. The movie opens, in Bulgaria, with some of the worst editing imaginable as Magna takes a supped-up Shelby Mustang, armored for heavy-duty driving, mounted with mini-cameras inside and outside so a mysterious voice (JON VOIGHT) can direct him where to go. See, as outlined during this sequence, Magna’s wife, Leanne (REBECCA BUDIG), has been kidnapped and she will be killed unless he follows the instructions.
So, Magna puts his driving skills to the test plowing through markets avoiding innocents and speeding away from pursuing police cars. As he escapes pursuit, he hides out in an underground parking structure where a young woman (SELENA GOMEZ credited only as “The Kid”) jumps into the passenger seat with a gun to Magna’s head. But she’s not robbing him because that car was hers given as a gift from her mostly absent rich banker father. I’m certain this won’t be a part of this half-baked plot…
Now Magna and The Kid race through the streets, after a bit of trepidation, follows Colonel Klink’s commands though it takes this teenage girl to explain that even if Magna follows through, his wife is dead and the two them will follow suit. How Magna didn’t eventually realize this is beyond me. Anyway, the commands has Magna crash more police cars, put civilians in danger oh and blow up a power plant, though this one was done by The Kid and on camera placing her as enemy #1 with the po-po. As you can imagine, this is all a part of The Voice’s plan.
Ok, enough with the lame and honestly lame plot, there’s really not a whole lot to like about Getaway from thinly written, underdeveloped characters, pacing that’s a bit too fast for its own good (sans credits, it’s only 82-minutes) and choppy editing. And it’s kind of sad because I can tell a lot of work and passion went into the stunts because some of it, when ignoring the editing, wasn’t terribly bad, probably on par with anything the Transporter movies came up with. I also have to say, and this was worth a full 0.5 star, a one-shot chase sequences towards the end was actually well done, just a shame everything that proceeded and came after it was crap.
This doesn’t even cover the inane script, written by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker (feature debuts for both), which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. How is Magna able to continue driving through the streets after at being a part of a city-wide blackout, a train station getting blown up and countless injuries, if not deaths, of police officers? Even though he was coerced, it hardly puts him off the hook. On the other hand, perhaps I’m looking far too much into something so thin.
I can’t place too much blame on the cast. Ethan Hawke is far too good for this material having nothing much to do; Selena Gomez receives too much criticism in a role that has little meat behind it (I can’t see anyone else filling that role and making it better if everything around her remained the same); and Jon Voight seems content in letting his career die using horrible accents. But when you’re relegated to close-up shots of your mouth and eyes until the end, and even then it’s a distant shot of your face, there’s not a whole lot one can do.
Getaway was directed by Courtney Solomon, a name you might know but his resume you might with a feature film debut back in 2000 by the name of…Dungeons and Dragons (as well producing a few duds in his career). This movie once again proves he doesn’t have much of an eye though I commend him for continuing to find work. Although it might’ve had some promise, this comes across as a made-for-TV movie or, at best, direct-to-video and should’ve been there and be forgotten in the annals of time.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5
A pretty basic release for a movie that came and went in theaters as Warner didn’t bother giving this a slip cover or a DVD copy as they’ve done with previous releases. The only features included are some minimal EPK promotional featurettes (all in HD): Crash Cams (1:12), Destroying a Custom Shelby (1:06), Metal and Asphalt (1:09), Selena Gomez: On Set (1:19) and The Train Station (1:03). So all told, there’s not even 6-minutes worth of material and even so, it’s really thin.
Oh, sorry, there’s also a download code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy.
Preview – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Getaway speeds onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a finely detailed 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture doesn’t look bad with sharp details throughout and the dark levels, plenty of since a bulk takes place at night, are nice and stark. I didn’t notice any imperfections with a clean transfer free of artifacting and pixilation.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track meanwhile is fairly strong showing off each and every channel during the few action-packed scenes with excellent depth with the explosions as well as the revving of the Shelby Mustang engine. It’s actually a well done lossless track.
OVERALL – 1.5/5
Overall, not sure what the producers (last count, 16 of them) were thinking, but with a bad script, thin characters and choppy editing, Getaway was a car-wreck from the beginning and save for some cool stunt work and a cool one-shot sequence, there’s nothing redeemable about this action-thriller and should’ve been placed on shelves with the other forgettable flicks. The Blu-ray released by Warner unsurprisingly has sparse features (less than 6-minutes worth of empty featurettes) though the audio and video transfers are respectable enough if the movie itself isn’t.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.