Getaway Makes Sense as a Suggestion to Those Thinking of Going
- Friday, August 30, 2013
DVD Release Date: November 26, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: August 30, 2013
Rating: PG-13 for intense action, violence and mayhem throughout, some rude gestures, and language
Run Time: 90 min.
Director: Courtney Solomon
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig
The resurgence of Ethan Hawke's career has been gratifying to watch. First garnering attention as a cocky, moody performer in Gen-X favorites like Dead Poets Society (1989) and Reality Bites (1994), the actor carved out an interesting career path, mixing lower-profile roles in independent films (Before Sunrise , Waking Life , Tape —all from director Richard Linklater), with larger-budget literary adaptations that didn’t find big audiences (Snow Falling on Cedars, The Newton Boys [another Linklater film], and director Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca). He even scored a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Training Day (2001).
Since that attention-grabbing performance, Hawke has stayed largely below the radar, either because bigger-budget films didn't pan out (Brooklyn's Finest, from Training Day director Anton Fuqua, had production trouble, and Niccol's Lord of War flopped) or acclaimed smaller films didn’t break out of the arthouse ghetto (cf. Before Sunset , the well reviewed sequel to Before Sunrise).
The seeds of Hawke's re-emergence might be traceable to a remake of John Carpenter's Assault of Precinct 13, a siege story in which Hawke's character had to fight off a group attack. That story isn't entirely dissimilar to this year's The Purge, in which Hawke fights off a roving gang that targets his family for death. The Purge was a big hit—the second in a row for Hawke, who starred in last year’s eerie Sinister, one of the best horror films in years. On top of those two commercial successes is Hawke's third film in Linklater's Before trilogy, Before Midnight, which has been a 2013 summer success story in limited release.
Hawke’s new film, Getaway, held promise. Yes, it looked like a cheap knockoff of Drive, and it was questionable whether Disney Channel star Selena Gomez (Ramona and Beezus) could pull off the tough-girl shtick seen in the movie's trailer. But Hawke has established himself as a reliable genre performer. Would his artistic instincts once again pay off?
Not hardly. Getaway has a preposterous premise and action scenes that make the audience feel like they’re playing a video game. Such an aesthetic might appeal to certain viewers, but most will struggle to determine the point of this 90-minute exercise in cheap thrills.
Former race car driver Brent Magna (Hawke) receives a phone call—the first of many from an ominously voiced villain (Jon Voight, National Treasure: Book of Secrets) who's had Magna's wife (Rebecca Budig) kidnapped in Bulgaria. Brent is ordered to do everything the man tells him to do; otherwise, his wife will be killed.
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