Monday, September 9, 2013


By James Colt Harrison 

Getaway is not a remake of the old Steve McQueen movie, but is an original story written by Gregg Maxwell and Sean Finegan and released by Warner Bros. 

Getaway is THE thrill movie of the year with enough action, spills, car crashes and hair-breadth misses to pump heart-stopping adrenalin into every car-loving fan without killing them.  

Ethan Hawke  (the Midnight trilogy) shows up in Sofia, Bulgaria as a disgraced former race track driver. His wife (Rebecca Budig) wanted to return to her home country for a visit during the holidays. Hawke, who plays Brent Magna, returns home one night to find the house has been wrecked and vandalized. His wife has been kidnapped by unknown assailants. He is contacted by a mysterious man (Jon Voigt) via cell phone and given instructions about what to do to save his wife’s life. 

In what is probably the greatest free advertisement for a car’s racing ability, Magna must steal a Ford Mustang Snake Shelby and show how the sports car has more than enough ability to rev the engines and make everybody move out of the way. With the car pre-wired with spy cameras and computer screens, Magna receives his seemingly insane driving directions from Voigt’s character. Cannily shot by cinematographer Yaron Levy, Voigt is seen only in parts and never full face, keeping his identity a mystery. 

In what he thinks are directions to find his wife, Magna floorboards the car at breakneck speeds, causing innumerable crashes and accidents that seemingly don’t affect him much. In a brief quiet moment when he stops the car, Selena Gomez shows up and jumps into the car. A little ludicrous, but she apparently owns the car, is a computer whiz, and daddy gave her the car as a graduation present. Ms. Gomez, who is allegedly 21, looks 12 and not old enough to drive more than a kiddie car. Alas, she may save the day because she is a modern day woman, a computer whiz, and daddy is the CEO of the bank the mystery man may want to knock over in exchange for the life of Magna’s wife. Who knew? 

Magna, The Kid,, and the audience, are taken on the most spectacular car chase scenes that make McQueen’s famed San Francisco hill-jumping escapes in Bullitt look tame. Stunt drivers were put to good use in live-action scenes without the help of any CGI effects, and it improves the thrills immensely. When you can tell it’s the real thing, it scares you more, it gives you more goosebumps, and it gets you up out of your seat. With CGI you can usually tell and there is not as much of a thrill. But, the audience is not cheated because everything is upon the screen and is real. Kudos go to the stunt drivers in this film. 

The entire mobile police force of Sofia must have been destroyed as car after car plummets over a bridge, rams into street posts, spins through the air, flips butt over tea kettle, and gets caught in massive intersection pile-ups. Magna’s Shelby does get banged up a bit, but he still can outrun any of the little European police cars.
The winner in this film is the Mustang Shelby.

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