Low budget action flick with Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and some well-staged car stunts
An unashamed B-movie that was critically mauled and publically shunned on its US release, Getaway is a surprisingly passable little thriller for genre fans. Filmed on the cheap in Bulgaria, it makes up for what it lacks in originality with a plethora of well-staged car-stunts, and puts action firmly at the centre of its limited appeal.
Ethan Hawke plays Brent Magna, an ex-racing driver who comes home one Christmas to find his wife kidnapped. In a reprise of the Die Hard With A Vengeance plotline, Magna is ordered to commandeer a customized Shelby Super Snake Mustang and perform a series of tests, such as smashing every festive decoration in a public park. The car’s owner, a spoiled rich-girl computer hacker called The Kid (Selena Gomez) comes along for the ride, and it gradually becomes apparent that the true motive of the disembodied voice that instructs them is to create a distraction to allow a daring heist to take place. Magna and The Kid race against time, and hapless local police, to foil the plan and rescue his wife.
With a supporting cast peppered with familiar players (Raiders of the Lost Ark’s Paul Freeman, Passenger 57’s Bruce Payne and even Jon Voight in a cameo), Getaway’s simple plot is really just an excuse for a series of hyperkinetic stunts, mainly involving police pile-ups. One shot, during the film’s climactic chase, nails the camera to the Mustang’s bonnet, and provides a hair-raising moment as the car cuts through heavy traffic. It’s a shame that director Courtney Solomon didn’t use this strategy more, with too much time wasted on Gomez’s mouthy sidekick rather than the antics of Hawke’s tortured driver. But for anyone looking for a slice of low-rent action, Getaway provides plenty of cheap thrills for your buck.
General release from Fri 6 Dec.