Monday, February 3, 2014

The Random: Getaway

While still getting materials together for other ventures, I thought it might be nice to share some views and discuss points over various random happenings in the media world. These entries will be called "The Random" because of the random nature they entail. All of them come with this foreword disclaimer: The following work of discussion has not been something Snowflakian Dreams contributed to nor could we admit if it was.

Today's topic is the recent film Getaway from Selena Gomez, Ethan Hawke, and Jon Voight. Directed by Courtney Solomon, this film was a classic throwback to 70s car chase movies with a modern twist on the scenario. If you haven't seen the film, and you worry about spoilers, you may want to look away now. It is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

The movie has been panned pretty badly by critics. Though all the critics seem to agree on the same thing. Selena Gomez's scenes and character carried the film and managed to steal any scene outright.   The film uses ample amounts of techniques to try and help the audience feel each character's direct emotions involved throughout.   All around it comes across as what could someday be cult-hit for its attempt at a new intellectual property creation. The movie itself as a standalone piece carries a lot of influences from similar works in the genre it stems from, including hitting on every story device and cliche that can be used as an initial setup. This isn't exactly a bad thing though. Certain elements of that pattern do work in the movie's benefit.  It also managed to take certain cliches and spin them into something new that has staying potential.

One interesting element in itself is the character "The Kid" as portrayed by Gomez. This character as a focal point in the setup and how she managed to steal the show in every scene is reminiscent of other properties that had similar happenings. There are many films where this has happened before where a single character from a film was carried over to their own movie serial that then carried on and did better than their originator. The car enthusiast hacker former rich girl is a type of character that could carry over to all manners of story telling as future features could pick up on her character to run with the story remnants.

Getaway by all accounts might not be universally praised, but that doesn't mean there aren't elements salvageable from it. One such car chase type property had done similar to amazing results. The original Riding Bean anime itself had created Rally Vincent, but it wasn't until she was designed more as her own character and less as Bean's foil that she really took off in her own series that out shined even his. I'm suggesting just that for Getaway. The Kid is entirely salvageable.  Unlike Rally Vincent, she needs no real changes other than the natural character growth that would occur from having been through what she has.

Would this character take self defense classes to protect herself better in future events? Would she try to better learn weapon training and handling? How is she coping with being cutoff financially from the wealth of her family? After her ordeal, what would she do with that money if she were to regain access to it? How would she build or modify her next car to keep something like this from happening again?  How has it impacted her views on helping others?  While it was the initial story of the driver Brent Magna that lost most of the audience, it was the hacker stylings and attitude of the kid that salvaged it. Magna's story came full circle to a close for what it was. As a self-contained piece of film about having everything on the line and being under pressure to do the impossible to save those you love, the film carried it's message well with the technique usage applied. It was more of an art piece with car action than it really a special effects extravaganza.   Carrying on this world through the eyes of The Kid could prove to making Getaway shine brighter in hindsight like many movies have in the past once a single character property spun out of it.

It's also quite brave what the movie attempted to do. Instead of tapping the vast amounts of properties out there that a story like this could have fit into or be adapted from, it chose to try something new and create a new intellectual property with original characters. This in hindsight may have been the film's major downfall because it made the emotional connections to care that much harder to build, but it was also this film's saving grace. It did try something new and brave with being an original intellectual property and even managed to create a new female icon that breaks the trends of how women are portrayed in film. Selena Gomez's character The Kid could very well hit icon status and as such should potentially be considered for how a film could be done that focused solely on her character with the aftereffects of the previous film. Her character brings much to the table and leaves a lasting impression to the point you become curious as to where does her life go after these events. Depending on approach and the story used, this character could easily become one that starts holding her own serialized movie fiction to cement this character's endeavor into a female badass of her own right.   Not one that came onto the screen and simply dominated, but one that grew into it from all that she endured. It fits in line with the characteristics they gave the character, and could potentially give new life to the previous film if such a spin-off sequel were handled well and became a hit. As an original intellectual property, Getaway tried something new without using another intellectual property to bolster its box office and sales. For that it should be applauded and possibly even spun around to take what worked to turn it into a lasting new intellectual property.  In this manner it puts a new light on Getaway itself.  Instead of being a car chase borderline art house film with a moral message, it also becomes a setup movie for the character that does carry on and reach greater heights.

If Pitch Black hadn't done that in the science fiction genre, we wouldn't have had the ample amount of sequels or the new science fiction badass that is Riddick. The same could be said of certain westerns, and many other genres. So why not let the character that carried the movie into making it enjoyable have her own spin off and further cement that character's standings in becoming a pop culture icon? One that represents girl's don't have to be damsels in distresses, that they can know cars, that they can be better with computers, and that they don't have to conform to any stereotypes of what a person is like that's into whatever hobby. That they can enjoy these things and still be entirely who they are with their own style, attitude, flaws, strengths, and events they grow from.

Maybe it's just me. I kind of half expect if the character would modify another car, she'd probably add in some kind of defense system for anyone attempting to steal it. Like getting shocked if you use the wrong door code, or other such comedic potential that still fits within the confines of the world established in Getaway.  She's a character with much potential and ample amount of stories still to be told.