MRR Review: "Getaway"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

MRR Review: "Getaway"

Rating: PG-13 (Violence, language)
Length: 94 minutes
Release Date: Aug. 30, 2013
Directed by:Courtney Solomon
Genre: Action, Crime

"Getaway" is an action-packed 2013 driving thriller that follows a family man on his journey to save his wife from a mysterious kidnapper. The film stars Ethan Hawke as the main protagonist, a former NASCAR driver named Brent Magna, who comes home one day to find that his beautiful wife has been kidnapped. Brent receives a series of transmissions from a mysterious figure (Jon Voight), who demands that Brent use his skills as a driver to conduct a series of risky and highly illegal missions in order to save his wife.

Fueled by his love for his wife, Brent immediately sets out on his first mission, which requires him to steal a high-tech car from a parking garage. The mysterious kidnapper begins to communicate with Brent through the car's telephone system, instructing him on the various tasks he must accomplish within a single night. One such task requires Brent to kidnap a young girl referred to simply as the Kid (Selena Gomez). The Kid is a technologically savvy young woman who turns out to be the owner of the futuristic vehicle. She reluctantly helps Brent in his quest to save his wife, occasionally risking her own life in the process. The clock is ticking, and Brent and the Kid must find a way to complete a series of progressively more treacherous assignments while trying to figure out the identity and motive of their unseen puppet master.

Ethan Hawke is no stranger to action films; the actor boasts an impressive resume that includes such prominent thrillers as "Gattaca" and "The Purge." Hawke is known for his roles in thoughtful yet tense films, and "Getaway" is no exception. Brent Magna promises to be one of his most emotionally charged roles yet, as Brent is forced to endanger the lives of civilians and break the law on numerous occasions in order to save his wife.

As the film's leading lady, Selena Gomez tries out a whole new type of role. Although the actress and singer is barely out of her teens, she already has an impressive film resume. "Getaway" marks her first performance in an action thriller, and the young actress more than fills the shoes of her tough and capable character, the Kid. The Kid is a technological genius with plenty of street smarts in spite of her young and naïve appearance.

"Getaway" is a remarkable film not only for its solid acting performances but for its special effects as well. The entire premise of the film revolves around Brent's skills as a former racer, so the movie is packed with plenty of high-speed chase scenes, fiery crashes, and near misses that are sure to have viewers on the edges of their seats from start to finish. "Getaway" more than holds its own against other racing thrillers such as "Fast and Furious" and "The Transporter." "Getaway" is a unique addition to the racing genre thanks to its focus on the story in addition to all the visually stunning driving scenes and thrilling stunts. The script is thoughtful and perfectly balances dry wit with tense moments. Gomez and Hawke portray the unlikely duo of a former racing champion and a young computer wizard with flawless precision and relatable chemistry.

Unlike other films in which the need to rescue someone serves merely as an excuse to get the film's protagonist behind the wheel for some impressive stunts, the central conflict in "Getaway" comes off as organic and down to earth. Viewers will sympathize with Brent's love for his wife and his willingness to do anything to get her back as well as with the Kid's predicament of being thrown into a life-threatening situation with a complete stranger. Although the film moves along at a steady pace, director Courtney Solomon knows when to include a pause for character development to keep the film intriguing and make its twists and turns all the more intense. Viewers will be rooting for The Kid and Brent as they race against the clock to save Brent's wife and stop an evil mastermind who proves to be a threat not only to them but to the entire country as well.

"Getaway" is a brilliant film that contains just the right blend of action, suspense, drama, and amazing special effects. The main characters are compelling and relatable, and the film features some of the most impressive stunt driving of any recent film. "Getaway" is an undeniably enjoyable ride that lovers of the racing and thriller genres won't want to miss.

Rating: 3 out of 5