A man walks into his suburban home to find his wife missing. The scene suddenly cuts to a Mustang Shelby shifting into third gear and breaking through a mass of helpless passersby. With gratuitous shots of glittering muscle cars and quick cuts of car chases, “Getaway” feels like nothing more than a 90-minute Mustang commercial.
After Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) discovers his wife Leanne (Rebecca Budig) is missing, her kidnappers call and tell Brent to hijack a Mustang Shelby owned by the Kid (Selena Gomez) while she’s still inside, drawing the Kid into the chaos. The kidnappers force Brent to set out on many death-defying missions to win her release. The dangerous tasks, all of which lead to incredible car chases, include breaking into a bank, driving through crowds of people to evade the police and setting up a grand bank heist orchestrated by the kidnappers.
Nearly two minutes into the film, the viewer is greeted by dizzying car crashes and chase scenes that become the basis of the movie, save for Brent’s brief moments of hazy flashbacks of Leanne and throw-away dialogue between Brent and the Kid.
This movie is mostly shots of Hawke changing gears and slamming his foot down on the gas pedal. The jumpy camerawork is truly headache-inducing and plays out like an overambitious, low-budget action movie, which the $18 million budget production certainly is not.
The casting of Gomez as the supporting actress is probably the most entertaining part of the movie, only because her lines and acting are laughably bad. Playing a tomboyish caricature of herself, Gomez’s weak acting is emphasized by her lines. When attempting to evade about 40 police officers, the Kid says, “I’m totally screwed,” a mindless tagline meant to give intense scenes levity.
The one redeeming quality of this film is an awareness of its own cheesiness by presenting as many over-the-top car crashes as possible. While “Getaway” uses special effects and ridiculous stunts to create these shaky chase scenes, the lack of an interesting story or character dialogue quickly make the film boring.