Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Getaway

Solar Productions
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Length: 122 min.
Country: USA
Format: DVD
Date Viewed: 23 February

It's fairly clear throughout The Getaway that Peckinpah was a gun-for-hire on this production. Certain Peckinpah elements exist - the slow motion shots, the heavy blood-letting, the near-overwhelming machismo - and he does a competent job, but it never feels like he cared about the material very much. The script is rather standard and the film only really picks up between the 55 and 90 minute marks with some outstanding set pieces, including a tense chase through a train. McQueen is cool throughout, as expected, and the constant but subtle exposure of children to violence is a powerful reminder of its effect on young psyches (and yet, this very violent film inexplicably received only a PG rating, which still stands today and reveals once again the uselessness of the current MPAA's system). Otherwise, it's a somewhat tedious affair, made worse by McGraw showing her complete inability to act and by another terrible score by Quincy Jones (a poor man's Lalo Schiffrin) - who was brought aboard by McQueen himself. Better rent The Wild Bunch or Straw Dogs instead.


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