MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1

Content: -3

Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight. Crime/action. Written by Sean Finegan, Gregg Maxwell Parker. Directed by Courtney Solomon.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) must get behind the wheel of a muscle car, with a teen (Selena Gomez) alongside, and follow the orders of a mysterious man in order to save his kidnapped wife. The abductor wants him to commit a crime involving a billion dollars, but first he has Brent test himself by outrunning and outsmarting the entire police department of a metropolis in Bulgaria. Not once, but several times. The reason for this testing is explained at film’s end, but not satisfactorily.

And the kid? Turns out she rebuilt the car they’re in, and also knows computer hacking better than Eric Snowdon. This will come in handy as the forced twosome attempt to outwit the villain.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It needs a new title. Far-Fetched would be closer to describing the plot.

There’s lots of car chases with lots of car crashes. (No telling if civilians or pursuing police are injured, but then, they don’t matter in this silly Fast and Furious wanna-be.) Hawke looks like he could actually be a race car driver, but I find it hard to believe Selena could retool an engine or hack computers without the aid of her Wizards of Waverly Place. I like her, but found it strange casting. As a fellow critic suggested, they needed a tough teen version of Michelle Rodriquez.

The dialogue consists mainly of swear words and panic phrases like “Oh my God!” “Hold on!” “Get down!” “Look out!” and “You alright?!”

And for a film that depends highly on our enjoyment of car chases, most of them featured in this picture are badly staged and shot in such a way that you can’t tell what’s going on. There is an exception; the final chase puts us right in the center of the action. But it's too little too late, I'm afraid.

I’ll be charitable today and leave my review at that.

DVD Alternative: Bullitt. Steve McQueen as detective who goes by his own rules. Great action, score and the best car chase ever filmed. (Caution: contains one obscenity, but I caught no misuse of God’s name. Also it has some violence, but nothing like today’s standards, or lack of.) It also has a muddled plotline, but it has Steve McQueen.

Dear Readers: forgive the grammatical errors. I’m on a plane and had little sleep the night before. Come back in two week when I find the correct my use of commas - and the rest.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: The film is punctuated with curse words that include mainly the s-word, but Selena uses other expletives that include ass---- and crude name calling.

Profanity: I caught two misuses of Jesus’ name, these uttered by the male lead: “Oh my God” and variations of are also spoken frequently by the female lead.

Violence: The wife is seen in flashback being brutalized by the baddies; there is some gunplay, but mostly the action revolves around car chases and wreaks; while no civilians or cops are seen injured, it’s difficult to imagine that some wouldn’t have been.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and up

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