Synopsis: Hopeful that an open-ocean sail might relight the spark of their passion, a troubled married couple hits a breaking point when one’s refusal to explore a foreboding deserted island sends them on a deep internal journey that will require drastic decisions to survive.
Stars: Terrence Martin, Dominique Braun, Ed Harris, Riley Smith, Martina Gusman
Directors: Terrence Martin & Dominique Braun
Running Length: 90 minutes
TMMM Score: (2/10)
Review: There’s been a good news/bad news situation concerning the movie industry and the pandemic that took over filmmaking for the last two years. The good news is that it forced many directors, producers, writers, and actors to think outside the box and develop smaller-scale features that could be made with the smallest crew possible. This approach limited exposure and the chance for those involved to catch the coronavirus. More good news is that it elevated independent features and production crews already used to this all-hands-on-deck style from niche status to an elite one. Now, big-time Hollywood studios were taking notes on how to make a movie in two weeks from directors with the experience of having done it.
The flip side is that the market was flooded with novice filmmakers pushing their projects forward once they had the financing. The resulting films, like Get Away if You Can, can come off as rough sits, glorified vanity projects that do less to showcase the talents of anyone onscreen but instead shine a glaring spotlight on the inexperience. Add a multiple Oscar nominee to your cast like Ed Harris’s small cameo, and you’re only asking for another layer of scrutiny to be applied. I don’t often give a final opinion this early into a review but Get Away if You Can says it all right in the title.
Told in a dizzying mishmash of timelines that likely only made sense to writers/directors/stars Dominique Braun & Terrence Martin, Get Away if You Can concerns a married couple attempting to reconcile their marriage on their sailing vessel, only to find troubled waters. An argument divides them and further slices the narrative into smaller pieces, with Braun flashing back to a time before she met her husband up until their first encounter and Martin flipping between conversations with his father (Harris, The Abyss) and brother (Riley Smith).
It’s not that the story cooked up by Braun and Martin isn’t intriguing or that the marital woes played out in the beauty of nature aren’t a wonder of contradictory ideas. The issue is that all the characters are wretchedly unlikeable people, save for Martina Gusman as Braun’s caring sister. Braun is vacant and uninteresting, opting to appear nude more often than necessary and let Martin’s camera linger over her slightly longer than an audience needs. Then there’s Martin, suffering over a performance that comes across as foolishly hammy thanks to the dialogue he constructed from either Braun’s name (shortened to ‘Domi’) or expletives. Neither comes off as severely as Harris or Smith, playing unreserved misogyny like champs.
Culminating in what will either be considered the most laughable or saddest excuses for gratuitous nudity in a film this year, Get Away if You Can isn’t poorly made or constructed. It’s just pointless. Martin and Braun are married in real life, and there’s a feeling this movie exists so they have a document of their union and a completed film as a calling card. Finding marital bliss should be enough for them because outside of their circle, I can’t imagine anyone being happy with taking this voyage to nowhere.
Cool poster, though.