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Bad Movie Tuesday: The Oddness of Getaway

January 21, 2014

Getaway movie poster

In a world full of remakes/sequels/reboots/prequels/spin-offs I love that Getaway exists. It is a car chase film that takes place in Bulgaria and features Selena Gomez talking about hacking computers whilst wearing a hoodie. It was universally panned (3% RT) and the nicest thing said about it was this:

This latter-day B movie can be rather fun in its preposterousness and bargain-basement style.

The Getaway is the story an ex-race car driver cruising around Bulgaria trying to save his wife. Selena Gomez gets involved and Jon Voight has another silly accent. On paper the movie makes sense. It was going for character actor + attractive pop star + nice car = fast paced ADD car mayhem that can be marketed internationally.

The problem is that the pace, editing and plot are all mind numbing. It got to the point where I lost track of the plot and starting counting how much it would cost to repair all the vehicular Hawke damage (probably like $8 million). Also, the costuming felt like an afterthought as Hawke is forced to wear a silly blue hat.

ethan hawke getaway

The silly hat is a staple of bad cinema. For instance, poor Julianne Moore was saddled with a bad hat in Next

MOV NEXT 042307

Getaway really goes for it and puts a bad hat and hoodie on Selena Gomez.

getaway selena gomez

The editing can best be described as “keyboard smashing.” Keyboard smashing works in music videos that need to pack everything into three minutes. However, the quick cuts in Getaway result in zero tension and a whole lot of confusion. The only cool moment of the film is a two-minute tracking shot of Hawke’s Shelby Cobra zooming through strategically driven vehicles.

Getaway Car Cobra

I felt bad for the cops who were chasing Hawke. Imagine you are a traffic cop in Bulgaria and were tasked with chasing a Shelby Cobra around alleys, underpasses and busy streets. Your day will be wrecked and your reputation hurt. Hawke is responsible for destroying every cop car in Bulgaria and is incredibly lucky he didn’t crush hundreds of Bulgarians. The unlucky cops are doing their best to apprehend a madman that is careening all over their city. The majority of the car chases end with police cars flipping, rolling, crashing and careening.

The most frustrating aspect is the plot. The bad guy is one of those masterminds who stares at three computers and has everything planned out in advance. He knows all and is a super jerk. How does he know that Hawke won’t crunch an innocent bystander while careening around an ice rink? How does he not know that Selena Gomez will dupe him?. Jon Voight gives this computer villain another weird accent and I kept hoping he would accidentally use his Anaconda accent and adopt this face while staring at the monitor.


I get why Hawke took the role. He is known mostly for his sensitive generation-X portrayals and has since branched out into films like What Doesn’t Kill You, Sinister, The Purge and now Getaway. He wants to stay relevant with today’s youth. However, he got himself into a film where his character’s name is Brent Magna.

Between Before Midnight and Getaway Hawke had the highest and lowest rated films of 2013. That is why I like him. There is no pattern and he will continue to pop up in bad films wearing silly hats.

The Getaway is bad. However, Getaway was unexpected. I applaud that.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 21, 2014 2:57 pm

    The original was with… Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw – it was a much simpler plot and probably made more sense. Don’t remember much from it except the Mustang!

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