You know the kind of movies that glamorize a mundane or normal everyday task to the point that it's all you want to do once you leave the theater?
Like the simple act of driving after watching "Fast and Furious," or typing after watching Russell Crowe's journalist in the political thriller "State of Play." Or even having a glass of beer with some old buddies after a viewing of "The World's End."
"Getaway," a bumbling, brainless car-chase action thriller, desperately wants to be that kind of movie.
This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Selena Gomez, left, and Ethan Hawke in a scene from “Getaway.”
Except it's so bad that it fails to make driving at adrenaline-rush speeds through busy intersections look remotely fashionable or daring, resulting in a movie whose action is as unintelligible as the motives of its characters.
The movie opens with Brent Magna coming home to a ransacked apartment with blood on the floor, his wife missing. His phone rings. A man's voice is on the other line informing Magna that the only way to save his wife is to follow the man's every instruction.
Cut to a parking garage housing a silver Shelby Mustang that has been rigged with armor as well as exterior and interior cameras. It is the movie's most layered character.
Magna gets in the car and takes orders from a man known only as The Voice. He tells Magna to drive at high speeds through heavily populated areas and to ram into randomly chosen objects on the street, causing relentless car wrecks, incomprehensible chases, and monotonous run-ins with the police.
Magna always obeys, but with obvious reservations. "I can't do that," he tells The Voice over and over again throughout the movie, as if all the audience needs to care about a character is to hear him constantly object to committing mass-slaughter.
The only reason we know Magna is the protagonist and that we should be rooting for him is because he's a victim of anonymous muscle men working for a mastermind villain who's face is never completely shown until the end.
Even then he's just a face-not a person with a distinct personality, past, or family. He lacks even a single acquaintance. He does, like every character in the movie, only what the plot needs him to do, a plot that appears to make a little sense at first until you actually think about it for more than second.
But what's worst about "Getaway" is that it doesn't even do its genre justice. The few somewhat interesting scenes in the movie take place outside the claustrophobic interior of the Mustang, in which the characters spend most of their time.
"Getaway" is just a bad, bad movie in every respect, so poorly paced that the only way we know it's about to end is not through character resolutions or some sort of significant thematic event, but because the camera pans out into one of those recognizable aerial shots that screams "Case closed!," depicting our triumphant hero amidst a bustling crime scene.
"It's been most entertaining," concludes the The Voice right before the credits roll.
Maybe for you, man. Maybe for you.