Getaway Review
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It wasn’t that long ago that Selena Gomez was just a Disney Channel star—and Justin Bieber’s girlfriend. Lately, though, she’s been breaking out of the Disney mold, starring with High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens in the raunchy comedy Spring Breakers. Now she’s trying her hand at the (seemingly) serious action of Getaway.

This high-speed thriller stars Ethan Hawke as Brent Magna, a former race car driver who gets back behind the wheel after his wife is taken by a faceless mystery man. In order to get his wife back, Brent obediently steals a camera-filled sports car and takes to the streets of their Bulgarian hometown, performing task after dangerous task as instructed by his wife’s kidnapper.

Brent’s mission gets even more complicated when he’s joined by the stolen car’s angry young owner (Gomez). But her technical skills could come in handy—both for Brent and for the man who’s calling the shots.

There’s really not much to this car-chase adventure. The story is extremely simple, and the majority of the action takes place in or around the car. For that reason, the camera angles are limited, forcing director Courtney Solomon to get creative. The result is an endless series of quick cuts, rapidly switching from one in-car camera to another, interspersing grainy spy-cam footage with a multitude of close-ups of a foot controlling the pedals, a hand shifting into gear, Gomez looking shocked or frightened, Hawke looking steely, and Jon Voight’s mouth. Visually, it’s laughably predictable—but, really, there isn’t much about this film that isn’t laughable. The story is pretty ridiculous, too—and there’s nothing that the cast (even the more capable cast members, like Hawke) can do about.

Hawke may get top billing on this spastic thriller, but Gomez steals the show—for all the wrong reasons. Her character is petulant and irritating—and the former Disney star’s self-conscious performance only highlights her flaws. Sadly, though, once she finally understands that Brent isn’t the one to blame for the theft and desecration of her beloved car, the aggravated teen becomes the brains of the operation—which should tell you just how brainless it all is.

For the most part, Getaway is just one long, 90-minute high-speed chase, with lots of explosions and almost as much substance as a marshmallow. On the bright side, it’s more entertaining than a lot of the bad movies that I’ve seen this year, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a bad movie. It may be good for an unintentional laugh or two, but this silly thriller never manages to shift into high gear.

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