PG-13 (intense action, violence, mayhem, rude gestures, strong language); 88 min.
And thus does a summer that started with a silly car chase picture end with a sillier one.
Getaway has some of the elements of a good gear grinder — a B movie where a car takes a pivotal role in the cast.
It’s got Ethan Hawke, doing enough of his own driving to pass muster with the likes of Ryan Gosling ( Drive), Dax Shepard ( Hit and Run) or Paul Walker ( Fast & Furious).
It’s got a cool car — a Shelby Super Snake version of the Ford Mustang.
It has an unusual city setting — Sofia, Bulgaria.
And then Selena Gomez shows up as the mouthy, tech-savvy sidekick dragged along for a long, Christmas-season chase through the not-quite-generic (tramlines, train tracks) mean streets of Sofia.
The improbable set-up: Disgraced racing driver Brent Magna’s Bulgarian wife (Rebecca Budig) has been kidnapped. He gets a call and is told to steal a particular armored, camera-packed Mustang that he will drive on a series of “tasks.”
The villain, whose chin stubble and martini-slurping lips are all we see, is played by Jon Voight with a German accent.
Having a car covered with cameras raises the variety of shots and sometimes amps up the pulse-pounding nature of the chases, choreographed by Charlie Picerni. Until you notice that door mirrors that popped off the Mustang in the last chase magically return in the next scene.
Director Courtney Solomon ( An American Haunting) is plainly out of his depth, and when the always reliable Hawke plays a character in the wrong key, that points back to a director who doesn’t have the stature or standing to “direct” him.
Maybe they all took a gander at that random, ridiculous scenario and hoped that the car would be cool enough to bail them out. It isn’t.
— Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service