(Sometimes Producer Jay likes to rant about a movie he has watched recently. These are generally older movies available on cable or Netflix, so he will not worry himself, or you, with spoiler alerts.)
Do you see how thrilled Selena Gomez and Ethan Hawke look in that photo? That is the same level of thrill I had while watching Getaway. Bored constipation is how I’d describe it.
This movie had been sitting on my DVR for a long time. Maybe a month, maybe longer. I figured a leisurely Saturday afternoon was as good a time as any to watch this “thrill ride!” It’s more suited for nap time.
Basically, somebody was stoned while watching somebody else play Grand Theft Auto and thought, “Hey we should make this into a movie!” Which seems like a fine idea, but instead of driving around stealing cars, committing crimes and beating up hookers*, you know, the fun stuff from GTA, we get all the annoying parts of that game or any game. People calling you when you have better things to do, like beating up a hooker*. People giving you obvious instructions like “drive faster” when you obviously know you need to drive faster, because you have to get to that hooker and beat her up before she calls the cops!*
When the movie started, I was hopeful. Guy’s wife is kidnapped while they’re living in Bulgaria or someplace, bad guy tells him he needs to steal a special car. A Ford Shelby Super Snake Mustang which, although I am not a huge fan of Mustangs, is a pretty cool looking car. Perfect, stage one of GTA movie is complete. Now let’s go find some hookers!
Oh, wait, first we have to outrun the cops. Shouldn’t be a problem in this car against what look like a bunch of crappy Ford Focus (I don’t know what they actually were, but crap) police cars. That Mustang is an 850-hp car! It can reach 125 miles per hour in about 10 seconds! Goodbye coppers!
But NO! Somehow, Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke’s character’s stupid name which sounds more like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie name. “My name is Brent Magna,” say that in an Arnold voice.) who is some fancy pants former race car driver who we learn later was also some kind of wheel-man for the mob or something after he “washed out” of racing can’t seem to out run them in this super car! The only way he can ever elude the cops is when they inevitably crash into something. And the cops do oblige, often and with great destruction.
Have I mentioned the bad guy is played by John Voight’s mouth?
Yes, pretty much the only part of John Voight that you see throughout the entire movie is his slobbery, food crumb mouth. In extreme close-up. It was kind of gross watching on my television, I can’t imagine how it looked on a big screen. And it’s not a knock against John Voight’s mouth in particular, I’m sure his mouth is very nice for a mouth of its age, but I don’t want to stare at anybody’s slobbery mouth for an hour.
And WHY?! Why do we have to stare at his slobbery mouth? We KNOW it’s John Voight. And I understand we’re not supposed to know where he’s at and crap like that, but why only his mouth?! We can’t see his eyes? Or maybe just a tight shot of his whole face? Anything other than his slobbery mouth for an hour!
And what does this mouth do? It calls Brent Magna while he’s driving around and annoys him with instructions and play-by-play commentary. “Go faster.” “You won’t make it if you don’t go faster.” “You’re running out of time.” “Only 30 seconds left.” “If you don’t go faster, your wife will die.” And on and on and on and on!
And this is all BEFORE Selena Gomez even gets in the car. She comes to get her car back because she thinks Brent Magna has stolen it. How did she know where to find him? Oh, a “cop” told her. I think this is how that conversation went:
So, a cop calls and says, “Hey, we found your stolen Super Snake. Yeah, it’s in this vacant underground garage thing.”
“Oh, cool, so you have it, can you tell me when I can be by the cop shop to pick it up?”
“Oh, no, we don’t have it, we just know where it’s at. If you want it, take a gun and try to get it back from the guy. What are we? The police?”
“Okay, cool, seems legit.”
Are you kidding me?! These two idiots are the heroes we’re supposed to be rooting for?! Obviously it was John Voight’s mouth setting up a a trap!
So now she’s trapped with him for no apparent reason, really. There is no reason for The Mouth to want her in that car. Other than so Brent Magna has somebody to talk to. And talk they do.
This film is like that one friend that we all have. The one who has to fill every silence with talking. As though not talking is an awkwardness too powerful to bear.
And it’s rarely helpful dialogue. Once Gomez is in the car she just takes over for some of the useless stuff Voight’s mouth was saying.
People are shooting at them, “Drive!”
Somebody is gaining on them, “Faster!”
There’s some cars in the way, “Watch out!”
And so forth.
How would Brent Magna know what to do if he didn’t have people telling him? He must lack all basic instincts, since he needs to be told what his instincts should be.
It’s probably why he needs his wife back so badly. Without her, he probably lies in bed when it’s dark, all night confused about what to do next. He needs somebody to say, “Sleep!”
On top of it all, Gomez has the nerve to tell him “You’re the worst driver I’ve ever met!”
In what way? The fact that he’s successfully eluding the police? That while the police crash into everything, he’s doing donuts around semi trucks and driving down narrow alleys and basically saving their asses?
And he’s the WORST? Well, Selena, perhaps you should have let John Voight’s mouth know, so it could have kidnapped the spouse of any other person you know who drives a car. Because Brent Magna is garbage compared to them.
Meanwhile, The Mouth’s henchmen rob some armored car of a fancy hard drive. On motorcycles, with red LED lights attached, because, you know, they’re BAD!
The guys on the bouncing motorcycles are crack shots, meanwhile the guards who are standing still and fire back don’t even scratch the motorcycle bandits. These are the worst guards ever! Who would hire these guys?
The motorcycle baddies grab the drive and take off, until Brent Magna shows up! Him and Gomez grab the drive and all of a sudden these motorcycle dudes, who were shooting the wings off of flies two minutes ago, can’t hit the broadside of a barn. Chase ensues where Super Snake with a top speed of 180 mph can’t outrun guys on touring motorcycles. Also, Brent Magna has a hard time understanding that the easiest way to take out a guy on a motorcycle driving next to you, is just run into them. Luckily, they conveniently crash all over the place (must have been former cops) and Brent Magna and Selena Gomez escape.
Of course, Gomez is also the greatest hacker who ever picked up an iPad. She can do ANYTHING with it. Well, maybe not anything useful.
And she is such a top level hacker, she is able to alter the feed of the video cameras that John Voight’s mouth attached all over the car to monitor the duo’s progress just by twisting the lens a bit and shaking a cable or two.
REALLY?! That’s how you change a camera’s feed? Twist a lens and shake a cable? Those cameras should have been switching feeds every time Brent Magna bumped into another car then! People all over Latvia would have been watching Food Network when all of a sudden Brent Magna bumped into a police car and everybody’s TV was tuned into his fancy car chase!
At any rate, they lure John Voight’s mouth into a trap to exchange Mrs. Brent Magna for the drive, which WAS a massive thing but is now all able to fit on a thumb drive. Why wasn’t it being transferred as a thumb drive to begin with? Seems like that would have been easier to safely move than a giant case covered in LED lights. Whatever.
Blah blah blah, trade-off happens, guns fire, cops come, Selena Gomez is taken hostage and driven off.
Okay, NOW it gets weirder for me. So, the cops come. Now, Brent Magna has been tearing up the city, destroying everything and it wouldn’t be shocking if a few cops were dead after those crashes. And if they’re not in the morgue, they’re certainly in ICU.
Most cops I know of have that whole “brotherhood” thing. So, even if Brent Magna was slightly justified because he was trying to save his wife, there is NO way those cops would care. They would have his face on the pavement with a knee to the back of his head and making sure he was in some major pain.
But I guess cops in Transylvania are much more thoughtful and forgiving and liberal minded than American cops. They just let him be. Way to go Brent Magna, you’re a hero!
Brent Magna has Mrs. Magna back in his arms, FINALLY. She has to be terrorized and happy to be back with her Brent Magna. But when Selena Gomez is kidnapped, the cops can’t possibly chase them. No, this is a job for Brent Magna!
Now, I would assume his wife would plead with him to stay and let the cops handle it. Let the nightmare be over. Just be safe together. She JUST got him back! It would seem a little selfishness on her part would be justified. She doesn’t know that girl from anything. But no. Mrs. Brent Magna is selfless! “Go get her!” she says. Once again able to fill the gap his instincts seem to leave out.
Cue chase where now there are more bad guys with grenade launchers who never use them when they have Brent Magna right next to them, but only when he is at a distance and they can just kill random civilians. Eventually they too crash.
Seriously, this city is now just car wrecks and rotting bodies at this point.
Meanwhile, Selena Gomez is using her camera phone to broadcast her location to Brent Magna. Mind you, she is supposed to be sitting DIRECTLY next to John Voight’s mouth while it holds a gun on her, but she is able to talk very loudly and say things like “Brent (Magna), I am sending you video of where we are, here, let me point it out the window so you can see. Oh and he’s holding a gun on me, here’s a picture of that. I’ll just keep broadcasting until you find us.”
PLEASE, John Voight’s mouth, KILL HER! MAKE HER SHUT UP!
It takes John Voight’s mouth ten minutes to figure it out! Before it finally says “Iz zat a camera?! Give me zat!”
At which point, he apparently doesn’t take it from her, because she continues to broadcast from it! Then he kicks her out of the car for no discernible reason near the end of the chase.
Everybody crashes one more time. And viola! Finis! With an ending that leaves open the possibility for a sequel!
Seriously? Did they think this was going to be so good it would warrant a sequel?
Unless the sequel involves beating up hookers*, no thanks.
0 stars; out of 300
(*Producer Jay does not advocate beating up hookers in real life.)
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