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Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig, Paul Freeman, Bruce Payne, Ivailo Geraskov

Director: Courtney Solomon

If you’re looking for logic, just forget it.

Action and car crashes galore in a brainless ‘Fast and Furious’ style are clearly what director Courtney Solomon was looking for and on that straightforward adrenaline surging level, Getaway succeeds on its admittedly own un-aspirational terms, littering Sofia (Bulgaria's capital) with enough wrecked police cars to encourage every aspirant criminal in the city.

So if you’re looking for art or a significant subtext seek out a subtitled movie.

If there’s a subtext here it’s simply that if you pace your thriller as speedily as possible, why should sensation seekers want anything more than lashings of action a la mode – which is exactly what you get here, with a bank robbery and a state-of-the-art car fitted with CCTV so that its driver is under constant supervision by the villain of the piece.

The driver, Ethan Hawke, arrives home to find his wife kidnapped and the villain of the piece informing him that she will die unless he steals a high-tech Ford Mustang and then follows orders. It turns out – I assume for the sake of featuring a female lead – that the state-of-the-art car belongs to Selena Gomez who ends up racing through the streets of Sofia as Hawke’s unwilling passenger. Romance is out of the question, with Hawke being married and all that, which leaves the stars with banal banter to carry them between the happily frequent and vividly staged car crashes that litter the narrative.

Intellect and logical plotting are notable by their absence, leaving Hawke to act far more than is necessary for his propellant role and Gomez to do her best which, while hardly award-worthy, is perfectly in tune with Sean Finegan, Gregg Maxwell Parker’s action driven screenplay, itself driven at a fast ignore-the-logic pace by director Solomon.

Jon Voight is fortunate that his predominant-in-close-up villain is never recognizable until the climax. Fortunately, it’s highly unlikely that anyone in Getaway (apart perhaps by the stunt arrangers led by veteran Charles Picerni Sr) would want to be remembered.

Action, not acting, is the keynote here. In truth, the most memorable performance is by Sofia, playing itself.

(My rating, by the way, is for the action. The rest of the show should be allowed to rest in peace)

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: USA/Bulgaria. Colour.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 09 Dec 2013