I think I've seen this one before...
It's a hostage scenario. Plus a keep-driving-or-something-happens scenario. But with less desperation. Since they stop sometimes. And then keep going. And certain actions they take have no repercussions - they handled the edge way better with Liam Neeson's more recent cheese movie. Or more ironically with the classic Speed. This was... sub-par.
I like Selena Gomez. Initially she comes across quite the asshole here - and Ethan Hawke in contrast an an almost unnaturally calm and submissive guy - but she grows on you. Even if the scripting's fairly inconsistent, with her for example shouting 'this is awesome' during a particularly wild part of a chase - at a point you figure she's taken a liken to the main character - to just moments later tell him that 'she really hates him'.
Their bonding process comes with certain obstacles, you might say.
There's also a gap of realism in how timely the police show up after they've hotwired the cam - and how easy it was to hotwire that came in the first place. Would they really immediately understand what's going on before they've reached the hanger? Would they also subsequently immediately allow Ethan to just drive away - intent on saving the girl as he is? And didn't he get shot?!
They just glance over that little detail.
But the one thing that bothers me absolutely the most is how much AWESOME car chase footage is wasted on all too many cuts, and close-camera footage. The explosions at the train park, the power plant, so much creative car-related choreography as they float through the city on robust wheels and that awesome shielded Shelby GT500 Super Snake (that does look realistically bashed up at the end of it all)... WASTED!
They have ONE continuous, car-chase sequence towards the end of the movie, that truly delivers. Where they blaze through intersections, overtake cars, and buses, and just move through open but not entirely empty city streets in a mad pac - and you can clearly feel the speed and exhilaration. And a few moments where they have a camera in a fixed location that allows you to survey a particular slice of action in a good way - like when that truck rams the vehicle at the intersection.
But overall they just waste it all! They cut from one driver to the other, to wheels, to chassis, to distance shot, to close-up shot, to rear lights, to windows, to characters, to vehicle side, and so on, and so on, and so on... and they never let you focus! What's the benefit of this being a chase you can experience through a movie when it's cut up this much - to the point you lose all sense of speed and timing?
They convey the chaos, and the carnage, but so much of that is lost too when you never get a more distant view of the collisions and explosions.
Did they too much good footage they just didn't want to waste? They're overly ambitious - or incompetent - with the edits. And it's unfortunate. Cause the chases really ARE bad-ass. You just don't get to see them that way. Initially there is way too much focus on the characters inside the car as well, even though all of the intensity's situated outside it.
It ends well, and with a twist, and cast and plot was good but... what a shae on all that footage.
Props Jon Voight too. And that unexpected end.
rated 3.5/5: not bad at all