“Getaway” is a chaotic, idiotic car-chase thriller whose real star is a Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake that gets the best camera angles and all the good dialogue.
Ethan Hawke plays Brent Magna, a former NASCAR driver living in Bulgaria with his wife, Leanne (Rebecca Budig). (Why Bulgaria? Studio tax write-offs, I’d guess, though money laundering wouldn’t surprise me.) When kidnappers take Leanne, Brent gets a call from a mystery man (played by Jon Voight’s mouth) telling him to perform certain illegal tasks if he wants to see his wife alive.
Brent must steal the Shelby — decked out with digital cameras on the dashboard, hood and exterior — driving through crowds of holiday shoppers and dodging Sofia’s police. The Shelby’s owner, a rich banker’s brat (Selena Gomez), jumps in at one point, and the kidnappers’ mind games continue. Brent and The Kid (no, really, that’s how she’s identified in the end credits) bicker, but then combine skills to figure out the mystery caller’s plans.
Director Courtney Solomon (“An American Haunting”) cuts together lots of frenetic digital footage in haphazard fashion, as the script (by rookies Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker) hits a repetitive cycle of chases and crashes that culminates in an ending that’s slap-to-the-forehead stupid.
Opens today at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for intense action, violence and mayhem throughout, some rude gestures, and language; 90 minutes.