SHITFEST 2014 SUBMISSION
I refuse to believe Director Courtney Solomon is this terrible a filmmaker. Instead, I will believe him the most brilliant scientist the world has ever known.
Because, in a scientific discovery unparalleled throughout history, Solomon must have mixed a freshly lain turd, eight moldy hamburger buns, three decayed pumpkins, five rotten apples, two rabbit carcasses and a sprinkling of cumin. Then, he must have miraculously converted the mashing process into a feature length motion picture.
First, I will lend my insight into the many conversations between Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) and The Kid (Selena Gomez), almost all of them occurring in the comfort of The Kid’s recently stolen and newly pimped out Shelby Mustang, the very car Magna now is (mostly) involuntarily using to . . . well . . . that is only tangentially clear.
And also far less important than the dialogue. You see, an interesting side effect of Solomon’s experiment: none of the actors’ words ought be interpreted as characters speaking to one another. No. The words are mere clues to a sub-textual conversation between the actors themselves, one that plays on a constant loop and can only be understood by those with particular linguistic acumen.
Fortunately, dear readers, I understand the dialogue’s subtext and have transcribed it here:
Hawke: Wait. Solomon, how much you paying me again?
Gomez: I’m not just a Disney princess.
Hawke: Oh yeah. That’s not enough, really. But it’ll do. I guess.
Gomez: Did you hear me, Hawke?
Hawke: You know the best part?
Gomez: I’m not just a Disney princess.
Hawke: This shit is being released the same year as that Before thing I did with that French blonde chick.
Gomez: Goddamnit, Hawke. I’m trying to talk to you. I’m not just a fucking Disney princess. I can swear and shit.
Hawke: Which means this dung-heap won’t even hurt my reputation as a Serious Actor. My timing is genius.
Gomez: I’m talking to you, mother-fucker. Are you listening?
Hawke: No. Do you know how little those Before movies paid me?
Gomez: I don’t fucking care, you douche bottle bitch. Just shut the fuck up.
Gomez: Shit. Asshole.
Hawke: Wait. Were we talking?
It is a painful conversation, sure. But it also lends particular insight into the actors’ performances, such as they are.
Next, let’s consider the plot. In the loosest sense, Getaway has one. Magna, a former race car driver turned criminal turned reformed husband trying to live a decent life, comes home to find his wife, Leanne (Rebecca Budig), kidnapped by a psychopath, known only as The Voice (Jon Voight). The Voice wants Magna to drive a stolen car through some random Eastern European city, crashing into basically everything so as to attract law enforcement’s attention. Then, Magna must evade said police. If he doesn’t do exactly as the psychopath instructs, Leanne dies, something Magna (unlike the viewer) aims to prevent. The car belongs to The Kid, who accidentally, she thinks, happens upon it just as Magna is in the midst of following The Voice’s every instruction, one of which, suddenly, is to kill The Kid. No wait. Magna doesn’t want to kill her, so The Voice decides they can use her instead. But that’s probably because he doesn’t realize she’s a computer genius who will help Magna figure out The Voice’s plan (which, it turns out, is to rob her own father’s investment firm).
If that all sounds confusing, or cliché, or pointless, or Oh Who The Fuck Cares Anway . . . that’s because it is. Solomon’s science experiment is not about telling a story; it’s about seeing what happens when disgusting ingredients fuse together to create a shittastic whole.
The result of which, it turns out, is a ninety-minute car chase rife with destruction and visual and auditory monotony. So much monotony, in fact, that all we want, the only thing in the entire world, is for it to end. Once we see the one-thousandth through-the-windshield look at Hawke and Gomez’s faces, the two-billionth collision, and the two-hundredth from the-hood-of-the-car’s-point-of-view-shot, we would be just as happy if some kind observer decided to gouge out our eyes. An occasional car chase can be exhilarating entertainment, but now we know, indubitably, that the ninety-minute version is unwatchably sucktastic.
Just like the rest of Getaway.