"This is going to be the last big score, I promise." Famous last words--uttered by crack thief Doc McCoy to his wife--that set forth a whirlpool of deception and violence in Roger Donaldson's 1994 remake of The Getaway. Bailed out of a Mexican jail by shady businessman Jack Benyon (James Woods) in order to hit an Arizona dog track for him, Doc (Alec Baldwin) and Carol (Kim Basinger) flee for south of the border when the robbery goes wrong, with the million-dollar loot in tow. Following close behind are Benyon's men and Doc's double-crossing partner Rudy (Michael Madsen).
The updated version shares not only the original film's plot, but also the added twist of having husband and wife Baldwin and Basinger step into the roles of the first real-life couple to make the film, Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw. This time, however, the woman's role has been given a tougher '90s edge, with Basinger pulling almost as many punches and firing as many shots as Baldwin, compared to McGraw, who followed McQueen around in wide-eyed, silent terror.
The Getaway maintains the same deliberate, neo-noir pace that made the first film taut, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere in the wide-open, desolate Southwestern landscapes. The scorching sun and heat only add to the strain, making it virtually impossible for anyone to find a dark corner or alleyway to hide in. The car chases and shoot-out finale are charged, though a secondary plot line, between Rudy and the woman he kidnaps and seduces (Jennifer Tilly), comes across as unnecessarily and incongruously brutal. --Natasha Senjanovic