"Getaway" is the epitome of the dumb action movie. It's a good thing it focuses on the vehicular action, because anytime it has to resort to its dialogue, it isn't pretty. Once Selena Gomez's character comes into play, the forced buddy movie banter between her and the driver(Ethan Hawke) is lame. Fortunately, Hawke has enough skill and charisma to make the dialogue somewhat acceptable, especially since Gomez's inexperience as an actress shines brightly. Throw in the monotone voice on the other side of the phone(because just the voice alone seems to be the 'bad guy' in this one), and it's clear that even the slick car chases won't be enough to give "Getaway" a pass.
At just under 90 minutes, "Getaway" jumps into the meat of its story right away. Brent Magra(Hawke) comes home to find his living room a shambles and his wife missing. He then gets a phone call(listed as 'Unknown Caller' of course) telling him he needs to do exactly as he's told if he wants to see his wife again. The first item on the agenda? Steal a souped-up Mustang Cobra with a reinforced body and cameras mounted internally and externally.
Early on, it seems the voice at the other end of the phone is part of some cheesy hidden camera show where he's telling the driver to say stupid things at the other end of the earpiece. Except he's telling him to drive stupidly, crashing into Christmas displays and trying to run people over on a skating rink. None of this actually advances the story, which doesn't seem to start progressing forward until The Kid(Gomez, and yes, she's actually credited as The Kid) shows up. At least she is portrayed as more than just a car thief, because she looks silly wearing a hoodie and holding a gun. She looks real menacing considering her baby face.
The explanations that come at the end of "Getaway" are pretty preposterous, but not unexpected. The villain does his work from a booth at a nightclub, so it's a wonder than no one around seems to question why the man is obviously making threats on a phone call while he works with multiple laptops(and doing things like controlling police dispatches). But logic doesn't often have much of a place in action films, and "Getaway" embraces that wholeheartedly. The car wrecks and driving action are well-done and a lot of fun, but the audacity of the plot and some of the more bizarre turns overpower the movie's strong points. "Getaway" is disposable entertainment, perfect for killing time on a rainy afternoon when it hits cable television. It's certainly not box office material, especially when better action films(like "Elysium") are still hovering around the multiplex.