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Originally published August 29, 2013 at 12:08 AM | Page modified August 29, 2013 at 6:17 AM

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‘Getaway’: Car-chase thriller is one big wreck

A movie review of “Getaway,” starring Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and a super-snazzy muscle car. It’s a car-chase movie. No, it’s a car-crash movie. Same difference.

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie Review 1.5 stars

‘Getaway,’ with Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig. Directed by Courtney Solomon, from a screenplay by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker. 90 minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense action, violence and mayhem throughout, some rude gestures and language. Several theaters.

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Vroom! Screeech! Kee-rash!

Blabber, blabber, blabber.

Welcome to “Getaway,” the movie equivalent of a continuous closed loop.

Look out! Here it goes again.

Vroom! Screeech! Kee-rash!

Blabber, blabber, blabber.

It’s a car-chase movie. No, it’s a car-crash movie.

Same difference.

Starring Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and a super-snazzy souped-up silver Mustang muscle car (it gets all the best close-ups), “Getaway” finds this trio vrooming through downtown Sofia, Bulgaria (chosen, one assumes, because it’s cheap to film there), scattering squawking pedestrians like gaggles of panicked geese.

If the picture can be said to have a motto, it’s this: “If you don’t like the way I’m driving, stay the blankety-blank off the sidewalk!”

If the picture can be said to have a plot, it’s ... vestigial.

Hawke’s character, a washed-up race-car driver, is sent on a wild nighttime careen through Sofia by a mysterious, barely seen sadist (played by Jon Voight) who has kidnapped the driver’s wife (Rebecca Budig, weeping and wailing in a thankless role) and threatens to kill her unless poor Hawke does exactly what his tormentor demands. Which is to drive wildly through Sofia for no apparent purpose, demolishing oodles of pursuing cop cars in the process.

Gomez’s character, a whiny, tech-savvy brat, winds up in the passenger seat to berate Hawke — She: “I hate you!” He: “Shut up!” — and to bug him with questions about what he’s up to. That’s where the blabber comes in, as director Courtney Solomon pauses the action now and again to let the actors try to explain what’s happening. The explanations make almost no sense, so gentlemen, restart your engines.

Not the dumbest movie ever made. But close.

Soren Anderson:

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