Susan Granger’s review of “Getaway” (Warner Bros./Dark Castle Entertainment)
In this wannabe thriller, ex-NASCAR driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) steals a souped-up Ford
Shelby Mustang GT500 Super Snake from an underground parking garage in Sofia, Bulgaria. He drives it and its gun-toting owner, a spoiled American brat (Selena Gomez), in a pedal-to-the-metal race against time, following terse orders (“Drive onto the skating rink!” “Crash into the water truck!”) issued via a dashboard telephone by a mysterious villain (Jon Voight) who has kidnapped his wife Leanne (Rebecca Budig) and is holding her hostage.
Inanely and ineptly scripted by novices Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker and directed by Courtney Solomon (“Dungeons & Dragons,” “An American Hunting”), it’s action-packed – but that’s about all that can be said for it. The iPad-wielding, computer-hacking character played by international music star/Disney Channel alumna Selena Gomez (“Spring Breakers”) is never even named, although her father’s obviously an influential investment banker.
Since all attention is focused on the interminable car chases, as the American muscle car, rigged with digital surveillance cameras inside-and-out, frantically evades an entire fleet of Euro-made vehicles, primary credit should go to veteran stunt coordinator Charles Picerni, who orchestrated the speeding mayhem, along with the mind-numbingwreckage. According to the production notes, some 130 cars were demolished to achieve the special effects.
Let’s face it: Ethan Hawke in a car with Julie Delpy, driving through sun-dappled Greece in Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight” is far more interesting than Ethan Hawke in a car with Selena Gomez, careening around a wintry urban plaza, wreaking chaos at Christmastime.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Getaway” is a tiresome 3, incoherently spinning its
wheels for 97 minutes with sheer stupidity.