Friday, September 6, 2013


Watching Selena Gomez pretend to act tough in "Getaway," I was reminded of Talia Shire's remark upon returning to her penthouse apartment in "Life Without Zoe," Francis Ford Coppola's contribution to the 1989 anthology film "New York Stories": "So, is this what your father calls sophisticated? Twelve year old girls sipping strawberry daiquiris and reading Paris Vogue."

The effect is equally inapposite for Gomez, whom I liked a lot in 2011's "Monte Carlo" and this year's "Spring Breakers." It's her Shelby Mustang that Ethan Hawke is forced to drive around the Bulgarian capital of Sofia at breakneck speed by the voice of a flash-drive-seeking baddie (Jon Voight) who's taken Hawke's wife hostage. Voight, who, having blanketed the car with cameras and microphones, sees and hears all, intones such instructions as, "The water bottles - smash them!" and "Faster - go through the intersection!" (At some point, you just want to tell him to fuck off.) The formulaic plot barely ties together endless chase sequences that pass the time but deliver none of the excitement of, say, the "Fast and Furious" pictures. Sofia happens to be trѐs au courant and a hotbed of filmmaking at the moment; it's a shame director Courtney Solomon whizzes us by it in a blur and never stops to develop a sense of place. And I'm especially disappointed in Hawke, who's besmirched his exceptional work in "Before Midnight" with "The Purge" and now this insta-bomb. "Getaway" has been reviewed by over 100 critics amalgamated by Rotten Tomatoes and emerged with a 2% fresh rating. That much, at least, is not an accident.

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