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Top Gear Philippines

Getaway

When people ask what the best car movie of all time is, you might have some difficulty deciding, but at least you have automatic candidates in mind. Like Bullitt, for instance. Or the original The Italian Job from 1969. Or the recent Formula 1 homage, Rush. Or the Pixar animation Cars. Or even the latest installment in that fantastic series featuring Vin Diesel and perpetually drifting sports cars, Fast & Furious 6.

Coincidentally, the above-mentioned car movies all have high (or "fresh") scores on the film-review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes:

1. Bullitt - 97%
2. Rush - 88%
3. The Italian Job - 83%
4. Cars - 74%
5. Fast & Furious 6 - 70%

But what if the question seeks the opposite answer: What is the worst car movie of all time?

Now, this is especially hard to answer because chances are, you don't commit to memory all the bad movies you've ever seen--if you've even seen them in the first place. If a film is bad, there's a good possibility you'll receive peer counsel discouraging you from seeing it, and there's a better possibility you'll heed the advice.

Having said that, we would like to believe that we have just seen what could well be the worst car movie ever made. We're talking about Getaway, starring the otherwise charismatic Ethan Hawke as a former race driver whose wife was kidnapped by a criminal mastermind (played by the otherwise brilliant Jon Voight) in order to make him drive a Shelby GT500 Super Snake recklessly around the city of Sofia in Bulgaria, distracting the entire police force and allowing the mastermind's group to pull off a high-stakes heist virtually unnoticed.

We do not claim to be competent film reviewers, but we think we'll be able to confidently tell if a movie is horrible. We developed the skill from watching trailers of Carlo J. Caparas movies in our younger days.

The problem with Getaway is that the plot is both absurd and flimsy. For starters, the main character sets out to do the wishes of the man who has ordered the abduction of his wife, without first asking who the man is and what this man actually needs from him. He simply obeys and commandeers a nice car, stupidly driving it around the city like a madman all because the criminal boss has told him that his wife will be killed if he doesn't follow instructions. Never mind if these instructions include driving through a crowd and across a skating rink.

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So, what the script lacks in substance and depth, the director (Courtney Solomon) tries to make up for in nonstop, head-spinning car chases. We actually saw a couple stand up and leave in the middle of the movie. Only the P250-per-head tickets prevented us from joining them.

And just when you think a movie this bad cannot get any worse, Selena Gomez appears and proceeds to be more annoying than former boyfriend Justin Bieber. How this is even possible is beyond us.

Even if you're a car guy and are usually happy just to see a kick-ass ride on the big screen, you'll still end up getting disappointed. The car-chase scenes are mostly lame, and the stick-shift and heel-and-toe shots look too artificial to be ascribed to a supposedly former racing driver. Hawke ought to stick to schmaltzy flicks involving sunrises and sunsets. Piolo Pascual might have been more credible in a car-driving role. Which must be the ultimate affront to any Hollywood actor's thespian proficiency.

But then we worried that we could merely be envious of the main actor's pretty face, hence our abysmal opinion of the movie. So we fired up the Internet as soon as we got home, and went straight to Rotten Tomatoes just to see what professional film critics thought of this glorified, 80-minute Shelby commercial. Getaway's aggregate approval rating? A horrendous 3%. Three-effing-percent.

Even a low-budget porn movie featuring tricycles and naive-looking female commuters, should beat that with automatic-gearbox ease.

 

Getaway

Getaway

Getaway

Vernon B. Sarne
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