"One Big Chase Scene"
What You Need To Know:
GETAWAY provides lots of thrilling car chases with many near misses and spectacular crashes. However, the director uses too many edits and close-ups in shooting the action. This diminishes the excitement and enjoyment. The good news is that the hero’s love for his wife, and the teenage girl’s concern for others, eventually defeats the bad guys. Ultimately, GETAWAY isn’t a bad movie, but it does have plenty of gratuitous PG-13 foul language and some reckless deliberate driving through pedestrians. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution, especially for younger viewers.
(BB, C, Ro, Pa, LLL, VV, A, M) Strong moral worldview and premise, where husband’s love for his wife saves her and defeats bad guys, with some light Christian, redemptive content that includes rebellious teenage girl’s inner conscience eventually moves her to risk her life to help hero save his wife and references to Christmas include shot of a Christian icon, Christmas trees, and a couple brief moments with Christmas carols being heard, though much more time is given to hearing the jaunty seasonal song Jingle Bell Rocks, plus some Romantic, pagan elements, especially use of foul language (often by teenage girl) and bad guys are after dirty money being laundered through a special bank; 39 obscenities (one muffled “f” word during an action scene), one or maybe two strong profanities, and five light profanities, plus an obscene gesture; strong violence includes car chases, car crashes, guns brandished, woman kidnapped and placed in holding cell, woman fights back against male kidnappers but they are too strong, hero forced to drive through crowds of pedestrians during Christmas season celebrations and shopping to save his wife’s life but he tries everything he can not to hit them and miraculously he succeeds, bad guys on motorcycles fly off them during chase scene; no sex; no nudity; apparent alcohol; use; no smoking or drugs; and, kidnapping, stealing, extortion, evading police, reckless driving, and a couple bad guys escape though most are caught.
GETAWAY is one big chase scene. It’s a crime thriller about a former racecar driver forced to help some bad guys steal some dirty money from a large Bulgarian bank. GETAWAY achieves its basic goal of providing many entertaining thrills as the hero tries to turn the tables on the bad guys, but there’s some annoying camera work that gets in the way. It also has some other elements that require strong caution for media-wise moviegoers, especially younger ones.
Set in Sofia, Bulgaria during Christmas, the movie begins with former racecar driver Brent Magna, an American, coming home late one afternoon to find his wife gone and the place in a mess. A mysterious man calls Brent and says he’s kidnapped Brent’s beautiful Bulgarian wife. If Brent wants to see his wife again, the man says, there are some tasks Brent must perform. The first task? Steal someone’s fancy Shelby Super Snake sports car in broad daylight as it sits in a secure parking garage. The mystery man has rigged the car with cameras and a voice-controlled phone system.
The police give chase after Brent crashes the car through the well-attended parking garage exit. However, his superior driving skills enable him to avoid them finally. Despite this, the mystery man tells Brent to speed again through town, including driving through Christmas shoppers and holiday celebrators.
The police give chase again, but the mystery man finds a special hideaway for Brent to park the car. While hiding there, a pretty teenage girl holds Brent at gunpoint, accusing Brent of stealing her car. Brent manages to get the gun away from her, but the mystery man calls him on the car phone and orders Brent to keep her in the car.
As the night passes, Brent and the girl try to figure out the mystery man’s plans. Naturally, the reason for everything turns out to be about stealing some money. Brent and the girl begin to wonder, though, if the mystery man won’t just kill them and Brent’s wife after he gets his money. They decide they must fight back; but, how?
As promised by the trailers, GETAWAY provides lots of thrilling car chases with lots of near misses and lots of spectacular crashes. However, the director uses too many edits and too many close-ups in shooting all this action. According to imdb.com, GETAWAY uses about 6,150 edits compared to the usual 1600. Used sparingly, such filmmaking can enhance some action scenes, but when overdone, it tends to limit the excitement and enjoyment. Thus, GETAWAY never seems to get beyond merely good filmmaking and storytelling to deliver great filmmaking and great storytelling. Thus, it’s more a three-star movie than a four-star movie, unlike the last two FAST AND FURIOUS flicks.
GETAWAY has a positive moral premise throughout the story. The hero’s love for his wife, and the teenage girl’s concern for others, as well as their intelligence and personal skills, help them defeat the bad guys. However, a couple bad guys do get away in the end.
The biggest problem is that the movie includes a lot of PG-13 rated foul language. This means there’s a lot of “s” and “a” words in the dialogue. Sadly, many of them are said by the teenage girl, played by Selena Gomez. Selena looks 16 in this movie, but was probably 19 or 20 when she shot it.
Because of the gratuitous foul language and reckless driving through innocent bystanders, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution for GETAWAY. Especially for teenagers and other young people who might emulate such behavior.