John’s Review of the Getaway

Review written by John McGinn

I’ll keep this review short by simply saying the Getaway is quite simply a direct to video film that was only released in theaters by Warner Brothers for two simple reasons with the first being the time of year it is. With a few exceptions mid to late August to early October is a wasteland of quality films, and just like in January to March studios release films that don’t have the quality to compete against holiday films or compete with the summer blockbuster films as early as April. It is the same for films released in late summer to early fall. Audiences are experiences summer fatigue, going on vacations, and heading back to school. It is a perfect time for studios to release their castoffs that the studios don’t know what to do with or don’t have any confidence in to be put up against the summer blockbusters or the fall award quality films. It is obvious by their advertising campaign or lack thereof that Warner Brothers doesn’t have any confidence in the Getaway and only released the film in theaters for the second reason the Getaway was released in theaters, and that is Selena Gomez. Warner Brothers obviously is hoping that action oriented film along with Selena Gomez’s star power would help to elevate this obvious B level film at the box office to recoup the money that the studio invested in Dark Castles film.

How much does a roughly eighteen million dollar budget get you? Not much. It certainly doesn’t get you a decent script which follows Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) an ex professional race car driver who gets forced by a voice over the phone to do a string of jobs in Sofia, Bulgaria in one night for some unexplained reason. That’s the plot in a nutshell. It seems like Dark Castle was trying to find a way to film the Getaway as cheaply as possible, and it definitely shows during the film with the cheap cameras, endless close-ups, and bad editing. They force the two stars Hawke and Gomez to be stuck in a car for basically the entire film. Then Dark Castle didn’t need to pay any actors outside of some extras playing police officers and bad guys or have one or two lines at most. Next Dark Castle executives and director Courtney Solomon had to think of a way to get Jon Voight without paying him full price with the answer being endless close ups of Voight’s mouth, and only one actually scene with the actor at the very end of the film. I swear I’ve seen enough of Voight’s mouth to last a life time.

The only two remotely redeeming things in the Getaway are the action scenes and Selena Gomez. Sure the camera angles and choice of camera shots isn’t great the car chases and action is good and in a few scenes riveting. As for Gomez she is beautiful and talented women, and in the Getaway she is one of the few bright spots in the film out acting Hawk who just looks sickly and lost in the Getaway. Still I question Gomez’s choice of roles. Gomez is gorgeous, has a large fan base along with being very popular, and well known with the general population, so you’d think the young woman would get better quality film roles or make better film choices than the Monte Carlo, Getaway, and Aftershock. Gomez does have some acting talent she just needs to choose more wisely what roles she decides to take.

Could the Getaway have been a good film? I don’t see how. Not with a studio that was obviously trying to make the film as cheaply as possible, and certainly not with director Courtney Solomon at the helm who is the same director who directed that disasters that were An American Haunting and Dungeons & Dragons. Even with the star power of Gomez and decent action scenes the Getaway should have never been released in theaters, and sent directly to video and Redbox as it clearly isn’t worth ten dollars to view in the theater, but might be worthwhile for a dollar fifty rent from Redbox.

1.5 out of 5 stars

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