Many times in reviews the term “mindless entertainment” is thrown around, with such ease that the term itself has become a cliché. However for a film as clichéd and campy as Getaway it’s the only real term you can use. Getaway is not a smart film, but if you are looking for a film to watch while eating dinner, or entertaining guests at a party and want to have some explosions in the background this is a wise choice. Ethan Hawke plays an ex-racecar driver who discovers his wife has been kidnapped by a strange man. The man proceeds to instruct Hawke to do tasks for him in order to get his wife back.
The man (played by Jon Voight) heard only through phone calls acts as almost the director of the film. He commands Hawke to partake in every action movie cliché known to man. “Hit the truck filled with water bottles”, “drive through the crowded park” the directions get more ridiculous as the film goes on. About 20 minutes into the movie we are introduced to Selena Gomez’s character who acts as the spunky young person to contrast to the serious Ethan Hawke. She is laughably obvious, and once she begins to crack out the tech speak all forms of believability goes right out the window.
One of the most interesting elements of this film is the location. For no real reason the film takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria. There aren’t any reasons given for the main character to be in Bulgaria, and there is an odd explanation that Selena Gomez’s character is the daughter of an investment banker. It’s a unique place to set an action film, and gives the viewer some untapped locations to enjoy during films runtime. The streets are different, the wails on the cop cars are different, and the language is different. It’s the only truly unique aspect of the film.
Now I know what you are thinking who cares about the actors or the locations how is the action? The action is….completely palatable. Nothing super spectacular occurs, but the action does have some enjoyable moments. The car crashes in this movie are constant, and glorious with not one car getting out unscathed. Multiple objects explode for seemingly no reason, giving the main duo plenty of explosions to run, and drive away from. The action is edited so quickly that you sometimes get disoriented which makes it a shiny example of the problems related to some of the newer action films in recent years. They are so focused on giving you a quick pace, and not focused on the action.
Overall Getaway is a disposable action film of the best quality. There are bad films, good films, and films so bad that they are immensely enjoyable. The Getaway is the latter; a film that’s not going to change your life but you’ll get a good laugh out of seeing the most atypical action script released in years. Give it a watch, just leave to make a sandwich whenever the characters stop to talk.
Getaway premieres July 26th on HBO. Here’s the trailer to pique your interest until then: