September 5, 2013

'Getaway' script dreadful, story ludicrous


---- — Those who wanted to see a new release at theaters this weekend but couldn’t stomach a boy band biopic (“One Direction: This is Us”), had little choice but strapping in for “Getaway.”

Maybe Harry, Niall, Liam and the gang wouldn’t have been such a bad choice after all.

Not to be confused with the 1994 failure “The Getaway,” starring Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger (a remake of the 1972 Steve McQueen film), this “Getaway” has its own set of readily apparent problems.

The script is dreadful, the story is ludicrous, the acting is sub-par, the ending is poor, and the car chases that make up nearly the entire length of the film are tedious and repetitious.

Ethan Hawke stars as former race car driver Brent Magna, who now spends his time tooling around Bulgaria for some unexplained reason. His Christmas is spoiled by a genius psycho who kidnaps his wife (Rebecca Budig) and orders him around Sofia in a stolen car.

Unfortunately, the commands from the criminal — voiced by a German-sounding Jon Voight — are completely nonsensical, the seeming ramblings of a 7-year-old child on Fruit Loops and Red Bull.

Brent is paired with a gun-toting, car-loving rich girl who also happens to be a computer genius, played by Disney-fied pop star Selena Gomez. While the criminal mastermind has the car bugged and decked out with cameras, the girl is able to hack the entire system almost instantly with a couple of gentle taps on her iPad.

The chemistry between Hawke and Gomez is less than nil, with Gomez being out-acted by the film’s souped up muscle car — a Shelby GT500 Super Snake — by a fairly wide margin.

Hawke, who has been in enough good movies and enough flops to know what he’s got himself into, grimaces a lot during the film, but seems to stop trying at some point. It’s hard to blame him.

Even the film’s action falls flat. Sure, they destroy every police car in Bulgaria, but the bumps and crashes and close calls quickly become dull. It doesn’t help that there’s nary an intentionally funny moment in the whole movie.

At least teenage girls should like the “One Direction” movie. I can’t think of anyone who would enjoy “Getaway.”

Rental Recommendation: Ethan Hawke in the opposite of an action movie: “Before Sunrise.” Grade: A-.

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Grade: D

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight

Rated: PG-13 (for intense action, violence and mayhem throughout, some rude gestures, and language)

Running time: 90 minutes