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Stay away from Getaway'

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Car-chase film epitomizes late August offerings Car-chase film epitomizes late August offerings

Car-chase film epitomizes late August offerings

While there is no disputing that the summertime is the realm of the blockbuster, the truth is that there are only so many megamovies to be had in any given year. And so, when we reach the dog days of August, the studios start rolling out the also-rans. These are the dregs, the movies that have essentially been abandoned. The last weeks of the summer are home to the cinema's unwashed and unwanted the flawed, forgettable films.

This brings us to 'Getaway,' which is the absolute epitome of the late summer release.

The film stars Ethan Hawke ('The Purge') as Brent Magna, a man who comes home to his apartment only to find a broken front door, a trashed living room and a wife who is nowhere to be found. His phone rings and a mysterious voice on the other end (Jon Voigt, TV's 'Ray Donovan') tells him that if he ever wants to see his wife again, he will follow the mystery man's instructions precisely.

So he goes to a parking garage and steals a Shelby Cobra that apparently doubles as a tank. It also has a bunch of cameras stuck all over it so that the mysterious voice guy can watch his every move. Magna then randomly drives at high speeds all around Bulgaria, because that's where this movie is inexplicably set. Along the way, he winds up basically kidnapping the actual owner of said Cobra, an unnamed rich kid (Selena Gomez, 'Spring Breakers'). He then rolls around wrecking a bunch of stuff and engaging the cops in chases because the voice on the other end of the line tells him to.

This goes on for 90 minutes. And then, mercifully, it ends.

'Getaway' is the sort of movie you get when executives have sat in on a few too many focus groups. It's basically an hour-and-a-half long car chase that has been rendered brainless and boring. Imagine an unholy amalgam of 'Taken' and the 'Fast and Furious' franchise written by fists pounding mindlessly on a typewriter and directed by someone who thinks video game narratives are a bit too intricate. That's 'Getaway.'

Ethan Hawke has all the charisma of a plank; there's a disengaged lack of urgency that completely deflates any vague sense of tension this awful thing might have generated. He's flat and dull and generally terrible. Yet he's still light-years better than costar Gomez, who is supposed to be some sort of tech-savvy whiz kid but instead sounds as if she learned her lines phonetically. There's a serious case of 'Disney Clone Blankness' in her eyes; she's so out of her depth that you expect her to get the bends at some point. And poor sad Jon Voigt has clearly reached the point in his career where he'll take any gig that has a paycheck; he must owe someone some serious cash. The irony of his clearly phoned-in performance as a guy who spends the whole movie on the phone is painfully apparent.

There are plenty of reasons that the cinematic year needs the dumping ground that late August has become. 'Getaway' is the embodiment of all of them. 

[0/.5 out of 5]

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