'Getaway': The plot got away
Don't be alarmed if you walk out of Getaway feeling confused. It's not you. This grainy, clustered video game of a movie makes no sense.
Director Courtney Solomon does an efficient job of establishing the premise (which is fortunate, because it wears itself out after about two minutes).
Washed-up race car driver Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) returns home to find his wife (All My Children's Rebecca Budig) has been violently abducted. Then his cell rings, and a man with a thick Germanic accent informs him, "During the course of this night you will be given several tasks. If you fail at any of them, you will never see her again."
Actually, it's pretty much the same task all night long: drive around the streets of Sofia, Bulgaria, in a souped-up Ford Shelby Cobra Mustang. We see more of Hawke's tatooed hand decisively working the stick than we do of his face.
Every few minutes, the Bluetooth in the car will deliver a new, utterly arbitrary, order. "The water truck - smash into it."
So far, so bad. But things go completely off the rails when a chipmunky girl in a hoodie jumps in the passenger seat, waves a gun, and demands the car - though it's doubtful her foot could reach the gas.
It looks like (heh, heh) Hawke just got carjacked by Selena Gomez. Wait, that is Gomez? Holy Snarky!
What is the former Disney star and current Top 10 singer doing in this murky mess? How does she manage so effortlessly to out-macho Hawke's absolutely flavorless protagonist? And why are they the only people in Bulgaria speaking in English?
While we're at it, how, 30 seconds after he has thrown her phone out the window, does she pull it out of her bag? Just some of the imponderables in Getaway.
The biggest question is left for last: Who is the mysterious mastermind pulling all the strings on the phone? His identity is the Getaway's big reveal, saved for the final shot.
Trust me: You won't care.
Getaway 1/2 (Out of four stars)
Directed by Courtney Solomon. With Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and Rebecca Budig. Distributed by Warner Bros.
Running time: 1 hour, 29 mins.
Parent's guide: PG-13 (violence, profanity)
Playing at: area theaters