The Getaway

1994, R, 115 min. Directed by Roger Donaldson. Starring Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Tilly, Michael Madsen, Richard Farnsworth, James Wood.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Feb. 11, 1994

This remake of the 1972 Peckinpah gem lacks the Ali McGraw/Steve McQueen heart and soul of the original, opting instead for the vacuous and thoroughly forgettable anti-chemistry of Baldwin and Basinger. Based on Jim Thompson's nihilist-noir novel, Baldwin and Basinger play a married pair of thieves whose final caper -- a dog track heist -- goes horribly awry when they find themselves crossed, double-crossed, and then triple-crossed by everyone around them. As if that weren't enough, the couple's marriage appears on the rocks as well. Just one of those days, I guess. James Woods is here, playing one of the double-crossers, but, as has been a problem for some time now, you get the unmistakable feeling that he's just playing James Woods. This guy has more talent in one stray eyelash than most actors have in their entire repertoire, but somehow Woods seems bored these days. (Salvador II, Mr. Stone?) The real punch of the original comes in the form of Michael Madsen and Jennifer Tilly. Madsen is cast as a double-crossing partner in the heist with a vendetta against Baldwin. When he stops at a rural veterinarian's house to have a stray bullet removed, he somehow ignites the ardor of the vet's loopy, whiny, tremendously slutty wife, Tilly. In perhaps the only scene in the film to have the utterly nihilistic tone of Thompson's original story, Madsen and Tilly make love in a hotel room while her husband, gagged and bound to a chair in the bathroom, can only watch and howl in impotent rage. It's a shocking bit, a one-two punch that leaves you feeling like you need a long, hot shower. There are guns and gore galore, but that doesn't make up for what is basically a lack of belief in the film's main characters. You wanna see The Getaway? Go rent the original, pal.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Roger Donaldson Films
The November Man
Pierce Brosnan stars in this spy thriller that's decently made, but lacks the sizzle of a 007 or Jason Bourne.

Marjorie Baumgarten, Aug. 29, 2014

The Bank Job
When a gang of thieves break into some London safe-deposit boxes, they enter a world of police corruption, financial malfeasance, sexual degeneracy, political conspiracy, murder, torture, and upper-class salaciousness.

Josh Rosenblatt, March 7, 2008

More by Marc Savlov
The Marksman
Liam Neeson is the action man again in this border thriller

Jan. 15, 2021

Beautiful Something Left Behind
The hard path to healing when kids suffer a death in the family

Jan. 8, 2021


The Getaway, Roger Donaldson, Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Tilly, Michael Madsen, Richard Farnsworth, James Wood

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle