There are movies that get trashed, rightly, for playing like one long chase sequence. And then there are those that just as rightly wear their continuous need for speed as a badge — movies like, well, “Speed,” or “Cellular,” a similarly addictive early-career effort from Chris Evans. The relentlessly paced “Getaway,” with Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez, ambitiously shoots to be one of the good ones. But in the end, it’s hard to remember another action entry that expends so much energy on frenetic blacktop choreography and attention-deficit editing with so little to show for it.
A get-in-and-go opener introduces Hawke as Brent Magna, a washed-up race car driver who discovers his wife (Rebecca Budig) has been kidnapped from their home, then promptly gets a call ordering him to steal a ride and get moving. (Enter the movie’s other, unbilled headliner, a custom Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake. Gearheads will swoon.) As Magna tools through a Bulgarian cityscape, a mystery strings-puller with the extreme-closeup lips of Jon Voight puckishly directs him via the dashboard phone: Go faster, turn, bear down on those pedestrians, lose the cops — or your wife gets it. Cameras installed throughout the car monitor Magna’s every move.