Brent (Hawke) is a former American race car driver who has been keeping a low profile with his wife, Leanne (Rebecca Budig, at least Greenlee Smyth is getting work I guess), in Sofia, Bulgaria, where they now live. His profile was apparently not low enough because tough guys have kidnapped his wife and now Jon Voight’s voice over a cell phone is telling Brent to cause havoc all over the city. First, Jon Voight has Brent steal a souped up Mustang, then he has him crash into open markets and lead the police on an extended chase. The car is wired with cameras, so Jon Voight can watch where Brent is going and what’s going on inside the car, which becomes important when Selena Gomez bursts in and tries to force Brent out at gunpoint. Because it is an exceedingly dumb plan and Selena Gomez is, like, 9 years old, Brent gets the gun away from her and, at the direction of Jon Voight’s voice, keeps her from leaving the car, involving her in all his subsequent troubles. Turns out, the car Brent has stolen is Selena’s and she has a connection to the robbery that seems to maybe be the point of the evening’s mayhem.
Selena Gomez’s performance is no better than — but I guess also no worse than — the performance any random human being would give if you picked them off the street, gave them three minutes of plot explanation and then put them in the car next to Hawke, occasionally feeding them lines. I guess, since having Hawke talk to a hands-free cell phone and grimace doesn’t make for electrifying cinema, Gomez’s character is sort of necessary. And the movie makes the role all the more important by having her be “good at computers,” which means she is able to exposition Jon Voight’s evil scheme and help save the day. But she still feels dropped in, about as engaged with Hawke as if she had been digitally added to his scenes months later. I never once care about or believe in their relationship, and her journey from being Hawke’s prisoner to his little buddy helper is perhaps the most artless bit of character development I’ve seen in years.
Brent is a puppet at the mercy of Jon Voight (whose character is never given a name and whose motives are never explained), a bad guy we never really know who is pulling off a caper that is overly complicated and ultimately kind of irrelevant. This movie feels as though all the scenes with the Mustang driving through a vaguely European city were filmed first and then Selena Gomez and the plot were added in post. Since she tells us the plot as it’s happening, this feels entirely plausible and as good an excuse as any to explain why the movie ended up like it did.
As to why the movie was ever made in the first place, there is no good explanation. D-
Rated PG-13 for intense action, violence and mayhem throughout, some rude gestures and language. Directed by Courtney Solomon with a screenplay by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker, Getaway is an hour and 30 minutes and distributed by Warner Bros.