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Doug's Take: Doug's take: 'Getaway'

Published: Friday, Aug. 30 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Ethan Hawke as Brent Magna in Warner Bros. Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment's action thriller Ethan Hawke as Brent Magna in Warner Bros. Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment's action thriller "Getaway." (Warner Bros.)

As bad movies go, “Getaway” is kind of fun. It’s fun to watch the real star of the movie, the Ford Shelby Cobra GT 500, deliver a superhuman — ah, scratch that — let’s say, supercharged performance, although I have to admit it was a little “mechanical.” No one — or thing — gets more “face time” than the sleek, silvery, stalwart Ford.

It’s really fun to watch poor little Selena Gomez, who looks like she’s 14 in this film, try to be the heavy and convince us she’s the owner of the Cobra and is willing to kill to reacquire her gift from daddy. OK, I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s slam this review into reverse and do a little catching up.

Ethan Hawke is Brent Magna, a down-and-out racecar driver who has abandoned the track and is trying to forge a new life with his beautiful wife, Leanne (Rebecca Budig). It’s Christmastime, and Leanne is busy decorating their apartment when unknown assailants kidnap her and in grainy, muted images we see that these guys are not gentle.

When Brent arrives home, the place is torn apart and his footsteps crunch through the broken ornaments and debris on the floor when, suddenly, the cellphone rings and a mysterious voice instructs him to go to the parking lot and steal the car that he will know when he sees it. Oh, this is good/bad stuff that you just don’t find in every movie.

Of course, Magna spies the Shelby and this is where sweet little Selena as “The Kid” comes in. In the parking lot, she rips open the door and informs our hero that the car is hers! Oh, this is movie gold. Let me alleviate a little of the pain by quickly informing you that she hops in —brandishing a gun bigger than she is — and he refuses to relinquish the vehicle because “the voice” has told him if he does his wife will die. Without inflicting all the details on you, let’s just say that a chain of events and revelations lead this most unlikely duo to see that they are being manipulated for greater, dubious purposes all while fulfilling dangerous and even sadistic assignments.

In the course of the never-ending car chases, crashes, fleeing pedestrians and countless cop cars that bite the dust, lo and behold, “The Kid” is a computer whiz who uses her hacking skills to try to change the balance of power and thwart “The Voice.”

OK, I’ve got to stop. The more I think about this film, the more ridiculous it seems, but I do have one final thought. The conclusion in the plot line and the reveal of “The Voice’s” motivation has to go down as one of the least satisfying — and stupid — finales in cinematic history.

I would give this a total turkey, but once I got into the spirit of “so bad it’s fun” and started to relish the stupidity, well, I just have to give the PG-13 “Getaway” 1½ stars.

E-mail: dwright@deseretnews.com

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