After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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The romantic comedy How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days showed Shanghai Knights how to lose at the box office this weekend by taking in a winsome $24.1 million.* This makes it the third best February opener behind Hannibal and Scream 3.
Hannibal took in a head-spinning $58 million when it debuted in February of 2001, while Scream 3 wailed with a second all-time February best with $34.7 million in 2000.
How To Lose a Guy, which revolves around a writer for a fictitious magazine who agrees to write a firsthand account of all the things women do to drive men away sent the weekend favorite, Shanghai Knights, spinning, although the buddy comedy still managed to strong-arm a cavalier $19.7 million, beating predecessor Shanghai Noon's four-day $15.6 million opening take in May of 2000.
The third film to debut this weekend, the romantic comedy Deliver Us From Eva, opened sixth with a righteous $7 million.
Chicago's expansion propelled the musical into third place with $10.7 million in its seventh week of release, gaining two spots from last week's No. 5 position.
The CIA thriller The Recruit came in fourth place with $9.5 million, a significant drop from its No. 1 spot last week when it opened. The horror sequel Final Destination 2 also fell from grace in its second week of release, sliding from second to fifth place with a harmless $8.6 million.
Also losing gas in its second week, the motorcycle drama Biker Boyz barely passed the finish line with a wretched $4 million, ranking eighth. It debuted in the third spot last week.
The thriller Darkness Falls fell from sixth to ninth place in its third week with a not-so-scary $3.8 million, while The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers held on to tenth place in its eighth week of release with $3.7 million.
THE TOP TEN
Paramount Pictures' How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days opened with a winning ESTIMATED $24.1 million at 2,923 theaters. Its $8,245 per theater was the highest of any other film this week.
Directed by Donald Petrie, it stars Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey.
The PG-13 rated film focuses on a writer for a woman's magazine whose assignment is to write a first-hand account of all the things women do to drive away men. The man she uses as her guinea pig, however, has just made a bet with his boss that he can make any girl fall in love with him in ten days.
Buena Vista's PG-13 rated buddy actioner Shanghai Knights premiered in second place with an ESTIMATED $19.7 million take at 2,753 theaters ($7,181 per theater).
Directed by Tom Dey, it stars Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.
The martial arts pic is a sequel to 2000's Shanghai Noon. This time Wild West cowboys Chon Wang and Roy O'Bannon head to London to avenge the death of Chon's father.
Miramax's PG-13 rated musical Chicago expanded to 1,218 theaters in its fifth week and danced into third place with an ESTIMATED $10.7 million (+52%) at 1,841 theaters ($5,824 per theater). Its cume is approximately $63.7 million.
Directed by Rob Marshall, it stars Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Buena Vista's PG-13 CIA thriller The Recruit, last week's box office topper, dropped to fourth place in its second week, with an ESTIMATED $9.5 million (-42%) at 2,376 theaters ($3,998 per theater). Its cume is approximately $30.1 million.
Directed by Roger Donaldson, it stars Al Pacino and Colin Farrell.
New Line's R rated thriller sequel Final Destination 2 fell three rungs to fifth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $8.6 million (-46%) at 2,834 theaters ($3,052 per theater). Its cume is approximately $28.1 million.
Directed by David Richard Ellis, it stars Ali Larter, A.J. Cook and Michael Landes.
Focus Feature's romantic comedy Deliver Us From Eva opened to a respectable ESTIMATED $7 million at 1,139 theaters. Its $6,216 per theater average was the second highest of any film playing this week.
Directed by Gary C. Hardwick, it stars LL Cool J and Gabrielle Union.
The R rated pic revolves around three men who plot to free themselves of their mates' unattached and controlling older sister Eva by paying a cash-strapped ladies' man to romance her.
Warner Bros.' PG rated comedy Kangaroo Jack placed seventh--down three spots from last week--in its fourth week of release with an ESTIMATED $5.8 million (-35%) at 2,848 theaters ($5,890 per theater). Its cume is approximately $52.8 million.
Directed by David McNally, it stars Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson and Estella Warren.
DreamWorks' PG-13 rated drama Biker Boyz fell five notches to eighth place in its second week of release with an ESTIMATED $4 million (-60%) at 1,769 theaters (+3 theaters; $2,261 per theater). Its cume is approximately $15.5 million.
Directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood, it stars Laurence Fishburne, Derek Luke and Orlando Jones.
Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated horror Darkness Falls fell from sixth to ninth spot in its third week with an ESTIMATED $3.8 million (-46%) at 2,456 theaters (-409theaters, $1,547 per theater). Its cume is approximately $26.7 million.
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman, it stars Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield and Lee Cormie.
Rounding out the Top Ten was New Line Cinema's PG-13 rated fantasy sequel The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which dropped three slots in its eighth week with an ESTIMATED $3.3 million (-34%) at 1680 theaters (-495 theaters; $2,009 per theater). Its cume is approximately $320.7 million.
Directed by Peter Jackson, it stars Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen.
The top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $103 million, up 10.08 percent from last weekend when they totaled $93.6 million.
The top 12 were up a significant 21.94 percent from last year when they totaled $84.5 million.
Last year, Warner's R rated Collateral Damage dominated the box office in its opening week with $15 million at 2,824 theaters ($5,332 per theater); Universal's opening week of Big Fat Liar was second with $11.5 million at 2,531 theaters ($4,565 per theater); and MGM's Rollerball, also in its debut week, came in third with $9 million at 2,762 theaters ($3,263 per theater).