The Getback (2023) Review
The Getback is the latest “Tubi Original”, but I’m not sure if that’s really accurate, as there’s almost nothing original about this film.
Mal Cooper (Theo Rossi, Escape the Field, Ghosts of War) was a rising star in the police department. Until someone he brought in was found not guilty and Mal took matters into his own hands. Turns out the guy was someone even a cop can’t get away with beating, the son of a senator. The ensuing scandal cost him his job and his wife.
Now he works as a bounty hunter, tracking down bail jumpers for Alexander Rogan (Kim Coates, Neon Lights, See For Me). Right now he wants him to bring in Jake Gordon (Shane Paul McGhie, After We Collided, Hufflepuff: A Harry Potter Rap Parody). There’s just one problem, Jake’s testimony could make sure Alonzo Beaumont (Anthony ‘Treach’ Criss, Lord of the Streets, Equal Standard) never leaves prison, so Alonzo has put out the word that he’s to be terminated with extreme prejudice, and if Cooper ends up as collateral damage, so be it.
The Getback was directed by Jared Cohn (Devil’s Revenge, Shark Season) from a script by Chad Law (Section 8, Til Death Do Us Part) and Garry Charles (Cute Little Buggers, Day of the Mummy) and their prep for it seems to have been watching 48 Hrs. and Another 48 Hrs. on a perpetual loop.
Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a violent action comedy in the vein of those two films. The problem is, while he does a better job of directing The Getback than most films he’s worked on, Jared Cohn is no Walter Hill. And, as if it needs to be said, Rossi and McGhie are no Nolte and Murphy. The lack the chemistry between them and Rossi in particular lacks the charisma that made Nolte’s asshole cop likable.
While that hurts the film, The Getback still functions quite well as an action film. The plot unfolds fairly smoothly if predictably. The two are forced to work together, there’s the expected plot device to make Jake more sympathetic, etc. There are also a few twists, some of which are so badly telegraphed that you’ll be waiting for them. A couple, however, are actual surprises, there’s even an Easter Egg for fans of DTV action films in the name of a criminal Cooper brings in.
The action scenes themselves aren’t anything extravagant, this is a Tubi Original after all, but there is plenty going on. Fist fights, gun fights, and even a couple of short car chases, one involving a beautiful old Trans Am. As an added bonus, these scenes are handled with a bit more flair than I’ve come to expect from Cohen, well ahead of what he delivered on the recent Bruce Willis vehicles Vendetta and Deadlock.
Apart from the leads, there are only a couple of characters with any real amount of screen time. Dermot Mulroney (The Warrant: Breaker’s Law, Gone in the Night) turns up as Cooper’s former boss Chief Milazzo, Sufe Bradshaw (Gasoline Alley, Star Trek) is good as Cooper’s connection inside the department and Ritchie Montgomery (Geostorm, Trailer Park Shark)has an entertaining turn as Gus a feisty, shotgun toting old shopkeeper they cross paths with.
While it suffers in comparison to the films that inspired it, The Getback is an acceptable film. The characters needed a bit more work, and the third rate blues on the soundtrack are a poor substitute for the Busboys’ high-energy tracks in 48 Hrs. But for a low budget action film, it delivers more than is expected of it and that’s enough to keep most viewers happy.