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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When science professors Ira (David Duchovny) and Harry (Orlando Jones) are first to discover microscopic organisms on a meteor from outer space that smashed into the nearby Arizona desert they're anticipating leaving their community college for fame and fortune. That is until they find out these single-celled creatures divide--and--divide--and divide again at light speed evolving into weird varieties of alien flora and fauna that threaten to take over the world if they're not stopped. The army steps in but before it makes the situation worse Ira Harry and their motley crew including government scientist Allison (Julianne Moore) and fireman-in-training Wayne (Seann William Scott) learn that the secret to stopping world domination might just lie on the corner grocery store shelves.
David Duchovny in a movie opposite anything but aliens is the kiss of death--at least he avoids winking at the camera and manages a smarmy irony that has its moments. Duchovny and Jones make a better couple than Duchovny and Moore; one wonders what the double Oscar-nominee is doing here as Ira's klutzy-yet-uptight love interest. Whether it's her lines or her delivery her character is decidedly unfunny with little to do but fall over herself (hardly an original concept in physical comedy). Scott is the movie's scene-stealer endearing as a not-too-bright country club cabana boy (ya don't say!) who desperately wants to be a fireman and gets his chance after he accidentally ends up at ground zero of the meteor crash. Once he hooks up with the scientists to save the world his hapless doof plays well to Ira's smarts and Harry's sarcasm.
It's been 15 years since Dan Aykroyd Bill Murray and Harold Ramis rid the world of evil in the first Ghostbusters and movie audiences have missed director Ivan Reitman's unique brand of funny sci-fi. So apparently has Reitman since he recycles much of his own formula here: three guys and a gal smart-ass banter and band together to and save the world. But the film is colorful cheesy fun making the most of one-liner-peppered dialogue a population of fantastic CGI creatures and cataclysmic special effects. Some moviegoers may find the crass bathroom humor juvenile and not all the jokes hit the mark but Evolution is one of those guilty pleasures you'll find yourself laughing at despite yourself.