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Cinemania > Car chase movie ‘Getaway’ is a complete wreck

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 Selena Gomez is a teen carjacker and Ethan Hawke is a disgraced former racecar driver whose wife is kidnapped in ‘Getaway.’ Selena Gomez is a teen carjacker and Ethan Hawke is a disgraced former racecar driver whose wife is kidnapped in ‘Getaway.’

“Getaway” is a go-for-broke action movie that sacrifices plot and character development for explosions and car chases. And while that can sometimes be pulled off successfully, “Getaway” takes itself far too seriously for this approach to work.

If you do see this movie – which you shouldn't – prepare yourself for the worst. It's an incomprehensible puzzle of a thriller that hinges on its audiences being dumb enough to think what's happening is cool. It lacks tension and can't even rely on humor to make it work.

Ethan Hawke stars as Brent Magna, a disgraced former racecar driver who gets a phone call informing him that his wife has been kidnapped. The only way to save her is to steal a car and follow a series of dangerous and frustratingly stupid instructions – otherwise the kidnapper will dispatch her. Lest Magna try to escape, the car is retrofitted with cameras and microphones. He must smash and screech his way through the city of Sofia, Bulgaria, probably killing dozens of police and civilians in the process. Nobody can match his amazing driving skills and ability to destroy fruit carts, except one teenage carjacker, played by Selena Gomez, who gets wrapped into the plot after trying to steal Magna’s wheels.

Luckily she comes in handy, and the two team up to do a bunch of reckless and stupid things. Think of “Getaway” as 90 minutes of repetitive car chases, briefly interrupted by Ethan Hawke arguing with a little girl.  loemon

Plot holes and unbelievable twists continue to mount as the faceless kidnapper barks orders that the pair must follow or face terrible consequences. Sometimes they don't follow them, yet nothing happens. Since the car is bugged they shouldn't even think about escaping, but sometimes they openly discuss their getaway plans, and nothing happens. Of course Gomez is a computer whiz who can instantaneously hack digital systems using her iPad.

All of this contrived nonsense leads up to a ridiculous ending. 

If the plot and characters weren't grating enough, the film is a poorly produced wreck. There's one interesting moment at the end of the movie, in the climactic car chase that is shown from a POV shot of the muscle car's bumper. But practically everything before and after is a complete disaster.

PG-13, 90 min.

 

 Director Morgan Spurlock puts together a love letter to One Direction that will make fans swoon. Director Morgan Spurlock puts together a love letter to One Direction that will make fans swoon.

One Direction: This is Us

This concert film about the British boy band One Direction is not the most in-depth study of the teen sensations, but hardcore fans will not be disappointed.

“This is Us” is less a documentary and more a 90-minute entertainment piece, taking bits of interviews and splicing them together with slickly shot and edited concert footage. Director Morgan Spurlock – behind the scenes for once – puts together a love letter to the band that will make fans swoon.

There's nothing here for me or many other moviegoers, but for the demographic it's actually a well-made film. The rest of us may only recognize the band as cardboard cutouts sold at Five Below. But for the teenage girls who made One Direction an international sensation, it’s a sufficiently entertaining experience.
PG, 92 min.

The World's End

Previous collaborations between director Edgar Wright and star Simon Pegg (“Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”) paid tribute to specific genres while creating something truly hilarious and exciting in their own right. “The World’s End” is better still.

The story centers around five childhood friends who reunite in their hometown to finish the Golden Mile, a 12-stop pub crawl that concludes at a bar called The World’s End.

Oliver (Martin Freeman), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Andrew (Nick Frost) are all proper adults, with regular jobs and loving families. The outlier of the pack, Gary King (Pegg), is still reliving his glory days in a nonstop binge of drinking and screwing around.

The friends set out to finish what they started in 1990. Then they see the town has changed and the people are somehow different. The movie turns into a straight-up body-snatching alien invasion film that skewers the genre as much as it salutes it.

As a comedy, there's commentary on growing older and accepting the life you chose. As a science fiction movie, it comments on the faults of humanity itself. This is the best comedy of the summer and my favorite film-going experience of the year thus far.

R, 109 min.

Jobs

“Jobs” is a grandiose look at the life of the former Apple head that wrings drama from every moment until the title character seems like an infallible genius whose success was predestined.

After the first scene, in which Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) introduces the iPod, we flash back to a young Steve, walking barefoot through the campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He drops acid and plans to one day change the world, but hubris gets the best of him. And instead of treating that trait as a flaw that almost loses him everything, the filmmakers treat it as proof that he's always right.

The movie hits every biopic trope in rapid succession. Jobs yells at doubters. He challenges competitors. He screams into the sky. Writer Matt Whiteley and director Joshua Michael sell these moments hard but never show what made the man a revolutionary.

Surprisingly, the thing that stands out most is Kutcher. He nails the cadence and the look of Jobs, and hits his dramatic marks very well.

Steve Jobs did actively change the way we do things in this world for the better, but is his personal story captivating enough? “Jobs” makes a strong argument that it isn't.

PG-13, 127 min.

You’re Next

The horror genre is a difficult one to master, but with pitch-black humor and brutal gore, “You're Next” is a genuinely smart and terrifying film.

The film follows Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey Davison (Barbara Crampton), a couple celebrating 35 years of marriage with four adult children and their romantic partners in an isolated country home.

In typical horror fashion, the revelers get picked off one by one by a series of masked invaders. And while the setup is fairly typical, indie director Adam Wingard keeps things tense and jumpy. With a series of clever and unexpected plot twists, the whole thing feels fresh and inventive.

R, 94 min.

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