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.
More Reviews:'The Hunt' Is Frustrating and Fantastic'You're Next' Amuses and Occasionally Scares'Short Term 12' Is Real and Miraculous
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Every few months, you'll indubitably receive a phone call from your alma mater — no matter how many times you change your cell phone number, they always seem to track you down in their tireless pursuit of donations. And no matter how strapped for cash you are, no matter what percentage of your funds are tied up in that new App your old roommate has been developing ("It tells you how many washing machines are free in your designated laundromat! We'll be rich!"), you bear in mind one tried and true fact: these are your roots. Your launchpad. That to which you owe all of your success stories to date. So as such, you always dig deep into your pockets and graciously offer every last penny you can.
Oh, no? You don't? Well... that's understandable. Because you're not a freakin' millionaire. At least not until Who's Washin'? takes off. But you know who has money to spare now? Will Smith. So when his roots, his launchpad, that to which he owes his countless, unparalleled success stories comes a calling, you'd better expect that he'd at least be willing to donate his time. Nay, Smith doesn't seem to be answering this call — according to Roland Emmerich, director of Independence Day (the film that turned Smith into a bona fide blockbuster star), the actor is "too expensive" to take part in the developing sequel.
Emmerich cites Smith's hefty paycheck requirements as the reason that the movie star "can not come back" for Independence Day 2, speaking to The Daily News. Emmerich hedges a bit, explaining that the sequel will fare better without Smith. "He'd also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much." However, devoted fans of the 1996 sci-fi hit will be glad to hear from Emmerich's conversation with Movies.com that Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will both be back for Round 2. Of course, neither performer has seen the sort of success that has befallen Will Smith since '96. But within the realm of Independence Day, this should not detract from their value. We want them back in the new movie not because of how well they've done since the first one, but because of how well they did in the first one. Just as well as Smith, if not better (I'm a Goldblum man through and through).
Then there's a similar situation associated with the third chapter of Liam Neeson's Taken franchise. Another property that can be credited with branding its star anew, Taken 3 is roping in Neeson to headline once more... and is paying him $20 million to do so, as reported by Deadline. But hey, at least he's doing the movie. He might be accepting a heap of dough that makes America's working class population collectively grumble over frozen dinner plates, but he's in it. He knows where his loyalties lie.
Now, we can't say for sure whether Emmerich approached Smith only to be shot down by salary stipulations, or if he's just ballparking the average Smith paycheck and deciding based on his estimations that Independence Day 2 needs to exist without him. If it's the former, we're hoping Smith realizes that this is where he came from, and as such should give back to those who made him. Without Independence Day, Will, you might never have made it to the big leagues. And it's not like you have any nostalgia shame...
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
More:Are Will and Jaden Smith the Most Profitable Family in Showbiz?Will Smith, Carlton & Jazz Rap 'Fresh Prince' ThemeJust Kidding! Jaden Smith NOT Getting Emancipated from Will & Jada
From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)20 Grisliest TV Deaths of 2012-2013 (Vulture)