Review: A Perfect Getaway
Plot: Newlyweds, Cliff & Cydney (Steve Zahn & Milla Jovovich) decide to spend their honeymoon back-packing through a remote area of Hawaii. Along the way, they meet two other couples, Nick & Gina (Timothy Olyphant, and Kiele Sanchez)- a friendly, if eccentric couple that quickly befriend the newlyweds, and the less friendly Cleo & Kale (Marley Shelton & Chris Hemsworth- soon to be seen in THOR). When another couple turns up murdered, they nevertheless continue with their hike, until Cliff receives a report that the prime suspects in the case happen to be an unidentified couple last spotted on the very same island where they are now camping. Soon, each couple begins to suspect the other and their vacation quickly turns into a nightmare.
Review: A PERFECT GETAWAY is writer/director David Twohys return to the smaller scale thrillers that marked his early career (THE ARRIVAL), before he went into the land of mega-budget filmmaking with his 2004, would-be epic, PITCH BLACK sequel- THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. That film was a huge flop that almost derailed star Vin Diesels career (although I never really had a problem with it, as I thought it was a fun, if cheesy, fantasy epic- that was nothing if not ambitious), but both have since bounced back- with Diesel raking in the dough with FAST & FURIOUS, and Twohy coming back with this- a taut, lean thriller thats a lot more focused and fun than similarly themed films like THE RUINS, and TURISTAS.
Twohys greatest asset here has to be his cast. Ive always liked Steve Zahn, and hes perfect here as a seemingly nerdy, would-be screenwriter. As his spouse, we get a surprisingly retrained Milla Jovovich- who Ive also always dug, and of course, the fact that shes a mega-looker doesnt hurt. Shes been typecast lately in action heroine mode, and this is a bit of a departure for her, as she gets to play a fairly normal-seeming person.
As the other central couple, we get Timothy Olyphant & Kiele Sanchez. Olyphants a solid actor (great on DEADWOOD), but his film roles have mostly sucked (he made a HORRIBLE villain in LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD)- although this is definitely his best film work in a long time, While his film buff/ army-vet character is a little over the top at times, hes still damn likable in the role- and the fact that he actually gets to be funny at times makes this a nice departure from his usual, sour-faced roles. As for Sanchez- HOLY CRAP is she hot!!! DAAAAAMN!!!!!!!!!!! Im a loyal LOST viewer, so, of course, I remember her turn as the infamous Niki, of the Niki/Paolo pairing that almost killed the series back in season three before they were mercifully (and gruesomely) killed off. My total hatred of her character must have made me blind as to how unbelievably, smoking hot she is. I almost fell out of my chair during her big nude scene (which is actually our intro to the character), and- hotness aside, shes actually quite charming here, exhibiting an easy-going, laidback nature that never figured into her LOST character.
My only real problem with the film is that, at times, its a little too clever for its own good. Having the Zahn-character be a screenwriter, and the Olyphant character be a film buff, means we get a lot of winky-wink exchanges where they comment upon developments in the plot, and remark how clichéd they would seem in a screenplay. This is fine the first time, but they really over-do it- as this is supposed to be a thriller and not a comedy.
Which brings me to my other problem with the film- its not all that thrilling. Its a lean ninety minutes, but nothing remotely thrilling happens until well over hour into the film. I had the big twist figured out the minute the film started, and Im sure other viewers will too- so the filmmakers really should have revealed it earlier, and played up the action/adventure aspect of the film. Luckily, the likable actors/characters kept me interested through the slow patches, but, the thriller aspect of the film should have picked up some steam a lot earlier.
Nevertheless, I still enjoyed A PERFECT GETAWAY for what it was, a perfectly entertaining thriller, suitable for a fun night at the movies. While its certainly not a fantastic film, its a solid B-thriller, and worth seeing if you generally enjoy these types of films.
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