Fanatic Cinematic: “Getaway,” or maybe just stay away

Movie columnist Alex Leininger talks about what makes a movie one of the worst you’ve ever seen

What more is there to say about a movie currently featuring a solid 2 percent on Rotten Tomatoes?

It’s my feeling that “Getaway,” the worst movie of the year (decade? century?), already immortalized on the Internet with a cute little barf emoticon directly to its left, has already seen its necessary justice. But alas, I also feel that it is my duty to tear it apart — if even just a little bit — for the people. I’ll do anything for the people. So, people: brace yourselves. This week’s column is all about worsts.

“Getaway,” an unbelievably fast-paced “thriller” featuring “Dead Poets Society” alumnus Ethan Hawke and former Disney starlet Selena Gomez, is exactly as bad as the plot describes it to be. In a span of 90 minutes, Brent Magna (Hawke), a washed-up professional racer, is forced behind the wheel of a car in order to save his recently kidnapped wife. His only acquaintance? An entitled, potty-mouthed teenage girl (Gomez) who remains nameless throughout the film.

I almost felt bad for Magna, until I realized that I, the innocent viewer, was not much better off. Call it overdramatic, but watching a completely undeveloped character ride around with an even more undeveloped character in a fast car for an hour and a half left me feeling just as bad as Magna probably did himself. It was a terrific 4D experience. In choosing between having your loved one kidnapped or paying to watch “Getaway,” I’d flip a coin.

No, “Getaway” is not an enjoyable movie, and I’m really enjoying tearing it apart like my final grades on the last day of school. But if I’m going to put it through the shredder like Steve Buscemi’s character in “Fargo,” I’m going to have to break it down into sections (I hope you laughed, that was funny). Here’s the worst of the worst.

Worst character: “The Kid,” portrayed by Selena Gomez

I’m wondering... If I add unnecessary profanity and attitude to everything I say, will it make me cool? “Excuse me, mother, pass the @#$%$# Pop-Tarts.” Wow, I’m a riot. “Professor, would you mind keeping the %@$# PowerPoint slides up long enough for us to blink?” Everyone is jealous of my cool irreverence toward authority, right?

The thing is, this is exactly what Gomez’s character brings to the table – an obnoxious and forced rebel mentality. It reminded me of the “Eels and Escalators” episode of SpongeBob, which isn’t a compliment if you aren’t a brilliant cartoon for children and immature college students.

Worst career decision: Ethan Hawke

It’s not to say that Mr. Hawke hasn’t been in his fair share of bad movies in the past, but at the same time, he’s been in some great ones. I just don’t understand. Maybe he read the script and thought it would be the next “Drive”? Maybe he doesn’t really care about his public image anymore? Maybe he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet Selena up close?

No disrespect to Ethan Hawke as an actor, but I can’t help but question why a man with actual talent would stoop into the deepest depths of movie scripts and come up with the idea to go for this one.

Worst overall feature: The dialogue

As a moviegoer who really appreciates a good screenplay, engaging characters and thoughtful writing, I looked at “Getaway” essentially as a satire. Nothing about the dialogue at any point in the film created any sort of emotional connection, to the point where I couldn’t really have cared less what happened to any of the characters. If I hadn’t known any better, I could have been watching a “Saturday Night Live” skit gone wrong.

We’re all supposed to have our guilty pleasures. You may have a special connection with the Broadway Diner’s new bacon jam. I may enjoy singing “Les Misérables” in the shower at the top of my lungs — it’s fine. Nobody’s judging us. But when it comes to mindless, cookie-cutter, car-chase movies, there are certain guilty pleasures that I’m never going to understand.

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