Mania Review: Getaway -

Mania Grade: F

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  • Starring: Ethan Hawke, Selina Gomez, Jon Voight and Paul Freeman
  • Written by: Sean M. Finnegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker
  • Directed by: Courtney Solomon
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Series:

Mania Review: Getaway

It can't get away fast enough/

By Rob Vaux     August 30, 2013

 Start with a trio of five-year-olds. Deprive them of their Adderall and then drive them to the mall. Let them gorge themselves in one of those industrial candy stores, the kind with the six-foot-long Pixy Stix and the peanut butter cups sold by the scoop. Buy them all Big Wheels, festooned with mini-cameras. Set them loose in your back yard with their sisters’ Barbie dolls and the Christmas decorations that your spouse refuses to throw away, then assemble the resulting footage under the influence of the cheapest beer you can find.

Got it? Now do that again with $10 million and a couple of slumming actors, and you’ll have Getaway.

The sheer incompetence of this movie can scarcely be believed. You could show it in film schools as a cautionary example; just run it for the first day of class and say “don’t do this.” It’s a car movie made by people who couldn’t find reverse in a Volkswagen; a puzzle box thriller assembled by the functionally insane. I know that adults were involved in this because I could see them onscreen, which beggars the question of how they could get talked into immolating their dignity and self- respect in this, the worst of all possible ways.

Fault largely lies with director Courtney Solomon, the man responsible for that hideous Dungeons & Dragons movie that set public perception of tabletop gaming back by decades. His technique hasn’t improved much in the ensuing years, enabled by a face-clawingly awful script and an approach to editing that I’m pretty sure qualifies as a war crime. It has no sense of space, of pacing or of coherent narration. Characters gain and lose personality traits at random, driven only by the need to throw them into ridiculous threats trying vainly to form a storyline. Key plot points are explained multiple times after we’ve seen them, digested them, and now would pay real money just to hear the main characters shut the hell up about them. Nothing you have seen can prepare you for its aggressive stupidity, the nadir of a cinematic year that hasn’t exactly been one for the record books.

The story? I suppose there’s one of those, and if you’ve seen the ads, you pretty much have the whole thing. Ethan Hawke is a race car driver who has to tool around Sofia, Bulgaria in a truly gorgeous Shelby performing all manner of felonious stunts at the behest of a mysterious puppet master (Jon Voight) who’s abducted his wife. Selena Gomez shows up to help, looking tasered and exhibiting the kind of quiet desperation that suggests close family members strapped to bombs. Both of them trudge their way through an extended test pattern of car chases, interspersed with some of the most perversely hostile dialogue in the known universe. Conversations literally start with “Shut up!” “No, you shut up!” then go downhill from there. We witness it in mute shock, convinced that we didn’t actually hear what we just heard, then seeing our worst suspicions confirmed through scene after agonizing scene.

At one point during my screening, one of the few other attendees began chatting amiably into his cell phone. Normally that would send me into a homicidal rage, but this time, I was actively grateful for the distraction. “Share with us what’s going on in your world, o chatty stranger! Are you out of milk? Does Mr. Scruffles need a flea dip? Have they fired Mike Scioscia? Oh God, Jon Voight’s telling you to watch the rest of the movie or else he’ll kill your wife, isn’t he? ISN’T HE?!” When you're stuck in a movie as bad as Getaway,  you take your distractions where you can find them.


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doublec 8/31/2013 12:32:32 AM

 So we'll take it you didn't much care for it {SNORT}. 

ultrazilla2000 8/31/2013 1:31:15 AM

"Slumming actors"...?  Jon Voight?  Ethan Hawke?  Umm...ok...

Mayhem101878 8/31/2013 4:47:02 AM

All this negative press about the movie makes me want to see it even more. I always hate it when critics tear down a movie because nine times out of ten I enjoy the same movie, but then again I go to the movies to be entertained and escape reality.

makabriel 8/31/2013 5:55:33 AM

 Wow.  This is the first "F" I remember on this site..


almostunbiased 8/31/2013 6:01:08 AM

We've had several Fs but yea its pretty harsh when they get one.  To me a D or a C is a bad movie so an F must just be abysmal.  That said some C movies can at least be fun even though bad.

CaptAmerica04 8/31/2013 8:22:02 AM

The movies sounds even more awful than I imagined it would.  I hate Ethan Hawke anyway (both as an actor and for personal reasons - he was a complete dick to my brother once).

But my God, this review was hilarious!  I love your writing style, Rob, when you are truly roused to anger at a bad movie.  I'm sorry you had to endure such shite, but I am grateful for the laughs you gave me this morning!

mlaforce 8/31/2013 9:01:11 AM

Well I happen to like Ethan Hawke and his movies but I could see by the trailers that this was something I had no interest in seeing...

@CapAmerica, have you ever met somebody who was having a bad day and your first impression was, man what a dick that guy was only to find ouy later on that they were not so bad after all? could this have been what happened with your brother? Because  from what I have heard, is that he is actually a pretty cool cat, no big ego to speak of just a down to earth type of guy...Mind you this is just what I heard...

blankczech 8/31/2013 9:34:32 AM

Have no desire to see this (and I didn't need this review to make that determination)...I'm sure it's no worse than others of its ilk but it isn't packaged as well.  Had they used the latest coolest actors, over the top effects and a liberal dose of eye candy they could have had a box office hit.

The real reason I'm here is to comment on another comment. 

It's funny how a brief meeting with a celebrity can effect the way you feel about them and their work. 

Famous actors aren't allowed to have a bad day when they are out in public. 

CaptAmerica04 hates Ethan Hawke because he treated his brother poorly.

On the other hand...My eldest daughter is a big Ethan Hawke fan because he was very nice to her when she assisted him in acquiring a pair of athletic footwear at a Foot Locker near Princeton, NJ. 

According to my kid he was very down to earth, and had a great sense of humor...(as he joked around all during the sale).  My daughter was college age when this happened (she worked at Foot Locker during her summer break)...I don't think he was much older than her at the time.   She's 39 now so this took place about 18-19 years ago.


Tevii 8/31/2013 11:40:56 AM

 Ultrazilla - I don't think when he says "slumming actors" he's meaning it how your taking it. He means accomplished actors that wasted their time in a low level piece of garbage. It's not an attack on the actors at all

MaLarrya 8/31/2013 11:50:24 AM

Getting carjacked by Selena Gomez then having to take her along for the bumpy ride. Sounds like the plot of a porno. I may have to check this out.

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