Wednesday, 23 July 2014



It always used to be a rule that in any scene of public mayhem, any serious damage done that wasn't to something inanimate like a park bench or a brick wall was generally caused by the villains rather than the hero. In recent years that line has blurred, with ever more destructive car chases and indiscriminate chaos presumably leaving innocent passers-by dead or seriously injured and their own cars merrily trashed in a cool-looking pile-up. One thinks of the massive vehicular mayhem in A Good Day To Die Hard, where as many innocent Russian citizens got casually slaughtered by Bruce Willis as by the bad guys, or by the train derailment caused by James McAvoy's nominal hero in the (frankly rubbish) Wanted. Or you could look at the big tank-based setpiece in Fast And Furious 6 - it's the villain cheerfully crushing cars and drivers, not Vin Diesel and compadres.

There's a lot of that throwaway destruction in Getaway, a breathtakingly ridiculous action movie which mostly takes place inside the high-performance Shelby Mustang that Ethan Hawke is forced to steal by master criminal Jon Voight, who's kidnapped his wife and wired the vehicle with loads of video cameras. Hawke and the car's rich-girl-gone-bad Selena Gomez have to get chased repeatedly through downtown Sofia, distracting (and wiping out) the local police while Voight gets on with his evil plot....which frankly won't come as much surprise to anyone who's seen 12 Rounds or even Die Hard With A Vengeance.

It's a pity that much of the screeching tyre havoc is so heavily overedited that you sometimes lose track of where the cars are relative to each other. In addition a lot of the car smashes are shot from the sub-Skype standard low-def spy cameras that contrast badly with the normal cinematography of the rest of the movie; more proper filming and less frenzied chopping between webcams would have helped enormously (as evinced by one superb chaser's POV of the chasee in front, which is easily the longest single shot of the entire film. Still, it's pretty much all go right from the start and it barely allows you to catch much of a breath; some of the stuntwork is agreeably demented (all done by actually smashing cars into one another rather than with CGI), and reliables Bruce Payne and Paul Freeman turn up for about thirty seconds each. Very silly, but passable rental fare.


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