Getaway - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Getaway Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 6, 2014
So despite this films title the plot isn't actually about a getaway no Sir, its more along the lines of someone having to complete missions in a time limit or his wife dies. Yep that's the whole plot in a nutshell, Ethan Hawke is trapped within a souped-up GT500 Super Snake Mustang and must do whatever the mystery voice on his phone says or his kidnapped wife gets it. There are two problems with this concept...1. its completely ridiculous and 2. Hawke picks up Selena Gomez along the way.

First off the mystery voice and lips we see are obviously Jon Voight, there is no mystery at all, its Jon Voight, moving on. The next massively glaring issue is the car, the actual idea behind this film isn't too bad despite playing out like a [i]GTA[/i] videogame. The silly thing is the location for this action is Sofia, Bulgaria (for some reason) and generally in that country you probably won't see highly souped-up Mustangs. So the fact that Hawk is tearing around the city doing all these crazy things is completely idiotic because firstly the car stands out like a sore thumb so there is no way in hell you could disappear or be remotely inconspicuous...thusly you'd be spotted a mile away by everybody, and secondly the police would literately lock down the city. The fact Hawke is able to quietly drive around in his burbling Mustang with generally no attention is absurd.

That's the main issue which lets down the entire plot, it just doesn't work, but there are many others. I'm still not really sure why Voight goes to all that trouble with Hawke behind the wheel, surely he could do what he intended stealthily? the fact they cause so much mayhem just means there are tonnes of mobile police units around. On another point I see absolutely no reason why Gomez's character was required. Voight's mystery character sets her up with Hawke but there is no real need for her, she is literately just there to gain a wider audience.

The other thing that really made me giggle to myself was the poorly forced notion that Gomez's character is some kind of petrol head and the Mustang is actually hers...which she modded herself! as if!!. She reels off all this car jargon in a lame attempt to try and make you believe she's a cool cat and she may be of some use to Hawke's character in the film. Of course she is a nerdy techno kid so she does come in handy hacking into all the digital cams that have been fixed around the car and naturally she grows to like Hawke's character and wants to help him blah blah blah.

I'm not saying this film should be anything epic, the film was released under the Dark Castle Entertainment label which is basically a straight to DVD type get up so in affect you get what you pay for. As I said its not all awful though, the idea is sound and its directed well to be honest. Instead of regular filming we see the main two car occupants through the various in-car digi cams which Voight's character uses to watch them. Its nothing that incredible but it adds a nice touch of originality to an otherwise slightly unoriginal idea, it does looks good at times.

The other main hook is the car chases and car wrecks you see throughout the film. Think along the lines of 'Ronin' and you're not far off, its not as slick as that film and the fact its all at night means you don't see everything clearly but I can't deny some of it was impressive. Totally daft how these shitty old Bulgarian police cars manage to keep up with this hyper Mustang (or so we're lead to believe, it ain't no rice racer) and its utterly hilarious how this Mustang gets into so many prangs and collisions but suffers hardly any damage!! Its so obvious they wanted the car to remain intact for as long as possible, to remain recognisable, they were probably under instructions by the folk at Mustang. Unfortunately it adds even more to the already high levels of unrealistic nonsense and takes you out of the film completely. At one point Hawke's character slams the car bonnet first into a police car, shunting him off the road, yet the Mustangs headlights still work with no sign of damage!

Towards the end we do get some twists and turns which kinda work but leave it feeling a bit convoluted. Again in order to gain a wider audience they have cast a real duo of classic bad guys leading up to Voight...enter Bruce Payne and Paul Freeman. Their roles are so so small so don't get excited, like I said they're there just to add a bit of class but really with such small parts anyone could of played their roles. Them being there doesn't change anything or make the film better. Its a throw away flick which is a shame because it could of been much better if they ironed out some of the silliness. There really is so much stuff that just doesn't add up and we don't really learn who Voight's character is or what is overall game plan is, he's just pinching loads of money via computers in an extremely over complicated way it seems. If you like cars/car chases then this may grab your attention, otherwise it offers nothing really.
Super Reviewer
½ December 4, 2013
I really like a good car chase movie. When done right, they can be some of the most exciting action sequences in film. Then you get a movie like "The Getaway" where it is a 90 minute long car chase, and it just doesn't work. It's a big mess actually. Ethan Hawke stars as a driver who has to drive a car around a city doing a lot of crazy stuff that a mysterious voice on the phone(Jon Voight) is telling him to do, since he has kidnapped Hawke's wife. Along the way Hawke picks up Selena Gomez and the 2 try to figure out how to save his wife, and why this is being done to him. This is a bad movie. The directing is horrible. The edit job on this is one of the worst I've ever seen. It goes back and forth from the regular camera to camera set up on the car to make it seem like a found footage type movie. Hawke does good, as he always does, but Voight is completely wasted and Gomez is very miscast. I saw just completely skip this and watch a "fast and furious" movie if you like fast cars. If you want a good thriller involving a car, check out the original "Hitcher" or even "Joy Ride". Otherwise you'll want to get away from "The Getaway"(lol, see how I did that:-p )
Super Reviewer
November 17, 2013
Get in. Get out. Getaway.

Good decent movie! This is a popcorn movie. Nothing more. I understood that going in. It's not high art. It doesn't revolutionize movie-making, and is not even the high point of the genre. But it's entertaining, and that's all I ask of a movie. Give me some popcorn and a Coke, and dim the lights, let me forget about the world for a couple hours, and I'm happy. Most of the plot was admittedly easy to figure out early on, but the movie still provided plenty of excitement in how it got there. There were some aspects of the story that were dismissed without explaining a lot of detail, but it didn't rely on otherwise smart people doing dumb things to make it all work, and I appreciated that as well.
Overall, I enjoyed Getaway, but that may be in part because I went in with low expectations. The movie is what it is and if you know what you're getting into it shouldn't be that much of a letdown.

Getaway is the gritty, exciting action thriller from Warner Brothers in which former race car driver Brent Magna is pitted against the clock as he commandeers a custom Shelby Super Snake Mustang, taking it and its unwitting owner on a high-speed adventure at the command of a mysterious villain on a race against time to save the life of his kidnapped wife.
Super Reviewer
October 31, 2013
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2013
The biggest problem with Getaway was also likely its main selling point to gear heads: it's one long 90-minute car chase. That may sound like a good thing to audiences that love them some high-speed thrills, but back up a moment because this scenario could be like getting sick from eating too much ice cream. Car chases are one of the greatest things in movies, but they are still dependant upon execution and overall context within the narrative. If you got nothing but relentless car chases, wouldn't that start to get boring? And so it is with Getaway whose endless stream of car chases becomes one long, plodding, monotonous blur of tedium.

Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) is a former racecar driver looking for a fresh start in Bulgaria. One day he comes home, sees the Christmas decorations shattered, and is told that his wife has been kidnapped. The mysterious The Voice (Jon Voight in constant close-up) threatens to kill Brent's wife unless he plays along. As per his orders, Brent hops into an impressive stolen car, outfitted with cameras so The Voice can keep tabs. Brent is ordered to drive around the city wildly. At one point, The Kid (Selena Gomez) pulls a gun on him, claiming that the car belongs to her. She's forced inside the car and the two unlikely partners are made to do the bidding of The Voice.

Another major problem for the movie being stuck in neutral is that it's directed by Courtney Solomon, the man who previously helmed notorious stinkers like Dungeons and Dragons and An American Haunting. The action sequences are so badly edited together that often it's a collage of fast-paced imagery without feeling the impact. It's hard to tell what's going on much of the time, so you just give up. There is one extended uncut scene of high-speed driving, but ordinarily Getaway is replete with confusing quick-cuts. More so, Solomon has difficulty properly staging the action sequences to draw out tension, falling back on speedy resolutions and rote action tropes. He doesn't have a strong feel to visually orchestrate action. I cannot recall one action sequence that grabbed my attention, partly because they just run together into a flavorless meringue. The most annoying feature is Solomon placing a series of cameras all over the interior and exterior of Brent's car. The movie frequently cuts around these security camera POVs, which are visually unappealing and remind you of a lame reality TV competition show. I think the camera aspect was included to give a grander visceral aspect of the car chases, to put you in the middle of the action. However, isn't that the pint of a really good car chase anyway? Shouldn't proper execution make me feel thrills rather than dumb camera angles glommed onto the car? I would argue that Getaway might have been sold on the notion that the added Webcams make it "found footage-y."

The scenes that aren't car chases end up becoming respites, something to strangely look forward to, and judging by the atrocious dialogue, this is not a positive. Another problem is that the car chases are all relatively the same. It's alleys, it's streets, sometimes ice rinks, but we're in Bulgaria and the particulars of the car chases will not budge. There is nothing to distinguish Car Chase #13 fro Car Chase #86, and so it all just becomes bland even with all the vehicular mayhem. The stunt work is certainly impressive but I just wish it had been put to far better use.

Then there's the matter of the characters and plot, or rather, the complete lack of them. The movie doesn't waste any time, putting Brent in his muscle car and speeding around by minute two. I can almost respect that expediency, but it comes at a severe cost. All we know is that the guy drives good, which will be self-evident in seconds, and that his lovely wife was kidnapped by bad people who want him to drive. That's it. Naturally, having one dude in a car doesn't lead to great moments of characterization, and so we're given the plucky teenage misfit partner played by the absurdly miscast Gomez (Monte Carlo, Spring Breakers). This character is annoying from the start and played by an actress who cannot convincingly portray an edgy character. So she comes off as artificial and irritating. It's uncertain at this point whether Gomez can step outside her doe-eyed Disney Channel branding, but this awful movie certainly isn't helping. Being stuck in the car with these two terribly written characters is like being trapped on a long vacation with the relatives you hate.

The plot is about as simple as you could think, and then most of it fail to make much sense. The car belongs to The Kid. The bad guys want to hit up her dad's bank, stealing funds about to be liquidated, and then this all requires Brent to drive like a maniac throughout Bulgaria, where the country apparently hasn't invented helicopters yet to track speeding cars through the sky. The plot really is the thinnest tissue to get the movie from one loud car chase to the next, with some asides where Gomez can spit out a few adult profanities (no F-bombs kids, this is still PG-13 after all). The conclusion makes little sense (spoilers). In the end, the villainous Voice congratulates Brent and his sidekick for winning, vanquishing his greedy scheme. Okay, but the Mr. Voice goes one step further claiming that this was his plan all along, to push Brent to his full potential that he always knew he was capable of. What does this mean? This man staged a highly elaborate heist, hired men with fierce firepower, and installed all this fancy technology just to make Brent a more self-actualized individual? This ending clearly points to a conclusive lack of an ending. Once the car chases were over, the screenwriters looked at each other and said, "Now what?" and that was when they typed "The end."

I'm struggling to come up with any verifiable positives I can say about Getaway. I suppose if you're an auto aficionado, you'll get a kick out of watching Brent's car, a Shelby Super Snake Mustang (I readily admit to looking this up because I don't care about cars), in action. Other than that, unless you have a strong desire to watch Voight's mouth in extreme close-ups for 90 minutes (you know who you are), there really isn't anything of value to be found in the wreck that is Getaway.

If you're a car chase junkie, I think taking a shot with Getaway could be the trick to sober you up. It's one long 90-minute car chase but made so ineptly, at every angle of filmmaking, that it gets so monotonous and boring far too early. When you don't have characters to keep your interest, a plot that makes sense, action sequences that offer some variety, editing that makes the action coherent, and direction that hamstrings the viewer to lousy dashboard-esque cameras, then it's easy to fall asleep to the sounds of near-constant vehicle crunching. Getaway is a terrible action movie, a terrible movie in general, and proof positive that action fans should be careful what they wish for.

Nate's Grade: D
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2013
A film inept in every conceivable way.
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2014
This film crashes and burns. It is a big wreck. It needs a major rewrite. Selena Gomez is miscast. At times, she was annoying in the film. Ethan Hawke and Jon Voight try to make this film work the best they can. The film reminded me of movies like Speed, Transporter movies, and Joyride. Those films were much better than this one. The editing in the film is terrible. There is a lot of loopholes in the story.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2013
Taken for a ride, moviegoers will stall out every shred of intelligence during this Nitrous-injected B-Movie car chase flick's bumpy ride toward the end credits. Familiarly, they choose a man who's done some nefarious deeds, kidnap one of his loved ones, and then pit this desperate fellow on a one-way breakneck rescue mission. It sounds like all involved want this engaging premise to get Taken to the bank...only the hard-driving twist on this formula only goes so far. Instead, the Hand of God seemingly drops a ridiculously gifted computer hacker into the passenger seat to keep the plot advancing in the same manner that Dr. Crusher saved billions of lifeforms on Star Trek: The Next Generation by whipping up a race-saving pharmaceutical cocktail at the 11th hour. It's cheap and only works if you shift your intelligence into Park for 90 minutes.

In this PG-13-rated crime-thriller, an ex-race car-turned-getaway driver (Hawke) gets forced behind the wheel to follow the orders of a mysterious man (John Voight) to save his kidnapped wife.

Of course, it helps to have a capable wheelman in the driver's seat. Ethan Hawke is no Liam Neeson in that that he's not a 60-ish action hero. No, he's cut a swath through popcorn (The Purge) and indie cinema (Before Midnight) by being a reactionary actor, playing the thrills to the hilt and emotion to the halt. Meanwhile, Selena Gomez remembers her lines while director Courtney Solomon uses a thrifted mash-up style of dashboard camera footage and steadi-cam to keep the action going.

Bottom line: Too Lame Blacktop.
Super Reviewer
½ August 29, 2013
Well good job, Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez! With one movie you've managed to make all of the good work you've done this year irrelevant. Hawke, coming off a sterling return to his indie roots with Before Midnight, plus a surprising horror smash in The Purge, slices his IQ and ours in half for the insipid sub WWE-level Getaway, a film with about a thousand car wrecks (not really exaggerating here) and still manages to be painfully dull. At least he's not the woefully miscast Gomez, playing a bad girl not totally unlike her role in the far superior Spring Breakers. But with her flat, robotic delivery someone might want to check her back for a pull string.

Wanting desperately to be Fast & Furious, Getaway is more like the schizophrenic cousin to 12 Rounds and all the awfulness that implies. To its credit, likely the only credit it will receive here, the film makes no bones about what it is or what kind of crap you're in store for. Torturously directed by F-lister Courtney Solomon, it begins with Hawke racing all over Bulgaria like a mad man, intercut with an incoherent flashback flurry that kind of tells us why. His wife has been kidnapped, the home wrecked (including their poor Christmas tree), and now he's being forced to race up and down the crowded streets at the command of some guy on the phone who sounds vaguely like Werner Herzog, or the villain from Lethal Weapon 2. If only it was Herzog, because that would be kind of awesome and disorienting like when he turned up in Jack Reacher, but instead it's just Jon Voight, who hasn't done anything meaningful since he bit Kramer's arm on Seinfeld.

In-between the dozens of car chases, all shot with ponderous incompetence that ensures you'll be bored within minutes, we learn that Hawke's character is the ridiculously-named Brent Magma, a former racing bad boy who "washed out" of the sport, and got in trouble with some criminal types. Why it takes him so long to figure out they might be the reason he's in this mess, when we've figured it out the very friggin' moment he says it, is a question that boggles the mind. After being instructed to pull into a parking garage, he gets carjacked by Disneyfied thug/computer hacker, who reveals the muscled Mustang he's driving actually belongs to her. Forced to take her along because the disembodied voice says so, it's clear that she's only there to give us something else to look at other than Hawke's glowering mug. Hawke has starred in a lot of really terrible movies in his career, but when he's checked out it is totally obvious. He couldn't look more disinterested than if he was tweeting mid-sentence, and Gomez doesn't help out much. To be fair, it's not like the "writer" had major plans for her, because she doesn't even have a name until about five minutes before the end credits.

So basically the entirety of the 90 minute run time, which feels somehow like 190 minutes, involves Hawke barreling through the streets chased by the world's most incompetent and unlawful cops ever. First of all, these keystone coppers never seem to show up until Magma is on his next "test", as if someone flips a switch and unleashes them into the city like marbles in a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. And when they aren't causing just as much property damage (we're talkin' Man of Steel levels here), they're acting like clowns by repeatedly challenging Magma's vehicle which has the armor of a small tank. Motorcycle cops against a speeding tank? Hope they have a lot of empty space at the local morgue.

A better director could have probably coaxed something interesting out of this relatively generic premise, at least giving us a competent single-location thriller with echoes of Phone Booth or Speed. Solomon, who gave us the embarrassing Dungeons & Dragons years ago, is not the filmmaker for the job, haphazardly editing every scene with a dizzying array of quick cuts and zoom ins/zoom outs, repeated ad nauseum until your stomach churns. The villain tracks Magma's every move through cameras set up along the inside of the car, which Solomon uses as an excuse to randomly jar us by switching to digital video for no apparent reason.

There does manage to be one really good scene during the end, and rather than spoiling it here it's best left to be discovered. You'll have no problem recognizing it; it's the one that looks nothing like the crap you've just been suffering through. There's a labored attempt to launch some sort of franchise, and despite how unsavory that notion might be the chances are Getaway will live on in cheaply produced straight-to-DVD sequels helmed by hacks.
May 16, 2014
One of those action movies that literally takes place in one place. A moving car. It wasn't bad, but the concept is just not that great.
½ April 11, 2014
to be honest i only watched it because selena gomez was in it if she wasn't in this movie would be horrible to me but i was off the edge of my seat the entire time
½ March 23, 2014
One of the worst movies that I have ever sat through, and as horrible as Gomez can't blame it on the acting. The director and editor of this garbage should never be allowed to work in Hollywood ever again. It's that bad.
½ February 21, 2014
This movie was insane...Smoke a joint and you could actually like this movie. Let's compare it to Driven and The Drive and so many others...It is just more of the same except that we see a young pretty girl thrown into the mix. She is the brains and he's the what? It's good that I don't have to pay to see these movie any more or I'd be broke and pissed off all the time. This one is worth watching if you have nothing better to do or to watch...Don't spend your money on it though!
December 26, 2013
(2 Stars) Give Getaway some credit: it's a car chase movie with very little if not any CGi. Taking out the plot, the chase scenes are not bad. But everything else is generic, extremely convenient, or foolish. I love a good chase, but there are more police cars wrecked here than The Blues Brothers; I didn't realize how boring this looks after a while. You wonder why there seems to be no media attention on an orgy of wrecked Bulgarian police cars (and I'm guessing deaths in the line of duty). Selena Gomez is really shrill and annoying as the passenger, always screaming stuff like "you're the worst driver ever" and a lot of techno-babble... why did they not kill her again? It's not like they needed a hostage. How she outsmarts Jon Voight's voice time after time is beyond me. After a lot of destruction that could have easily been avoided, there's a twist at the end that makes the movie pointless.

I guess Getaway may be worth a rental for its driving scenes, but you're not going to like much else about it. It's short and stupid, but it's not like the movie angered me.
½ December 15, 2013
Great movie for action that thrills. Love the Mustang and the plot of the movie. Haven't seen a movie like this before. Amazing...
October 19, 2013
Getaway ... get far far far away from this film! Ethan Hawke (Gattaca) stars as one-time car racer Brent Magna who just happens to be in Sofia, Bulgaria. He discovers that his wife has been abducted as she was decorating for Christmas and he soon gets a phone call from a mysterious voice telling him to steal a special car in a certain parking garage and drive all over Sofia so that his wife will be saved ... all just because. Magna finds the Shelby Cobra just waiting to be stolen ... and he steals it. Once inside the car he finds out it has been wired with cameras and other video equipment that directly connects him to the mysterious voice to be fed directions ... just because. Magna is soon car-jacked by a young woman (Selena Gomez - Spring Breakers) who claims that the car is hers ... and so refuses to exit the car even though it is clear her life is in peril. Magna and the girl drive all over Sofia ... in one chase scene after another out-maneuvering cop after cop after cop after cop. Again ... just because. Jon Voight's (Ali) mouth co-stars as the voice as this is the only part of him we see throughout the entire movie. Why has Magna's wife been taken? Why has Magna been targeted? How does the Voice know everything? Why is the girl so dumb and so technologically intelligent at the same time? Why does this film exist? It is ALL one long chase ... even though it is broken down into smaller implausible bit after bit. Saying it is dumber than a rubber tire is actually being rather nice. The title is actually the only instructions one needs to follow: get far far far away from this one.
½ September 29, 2013
At times it's enjoyable but it's not that good. Full review on my Letterboxd themoviefreak2001.
½ September 11, 2013
When the Razzies are announced next year here's hoping Courtney Solomon's Getaway sweeps the competition. Getaway is a car chase thriller minus any thrills. It stinks. Even worse, it has Ethan Hawke in the lead role, who should know better. Hawke is Brent Magra, a former NASCAR driver cruising the streets of Bulgaria in a Shelby Mustang. Why is that? Because the voice of Jon Voight on a phone told him to. Why is that? Because the voice of Jon Voight needs something and has Brent's wife being held hostage so that he gets it. So off Brent goes, winding his way through Sofia park during Christmas as shoppers run for cover and police try to catche up because sure why not. Then Selena Gomez, decked out in a hoodie, attempts to steal the car at gunpoint, presumably only because the script tells her to and nothing more. And she calls everyone asshole. She may as well be talking about the movie which goes on for a punishing 89 minutes that move like molasses. By the end your brain may have melted. Worst of summer, maybe the year.
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