Director: David Twohy
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth, Marley Shelton
Plot: Two newlyweds (Jovovich, Zahn) go to Hawaii for their honeymoon, only to pair up with another couple whom they think are the two serial killers revealed to be on the loose.
On paper, A Perfect Getaway sounds like a movie we have seen quite a few times before. The villain is a hidden pair of killers among the cast, little more than your average slasher baddie, and the good guys have to figure out who are the murderers, before they wind up getting stabbed themselves. However, while most thrillers of this variant go for the gore-fest and high body count, A Perfect Getaway decides to focus more on story and, as a result, A Perfect Getaway delivers an unexpected and original film.
A Perfect Getaway is suited best as a hidden gem. It is the sort of movie that is best received when you have no idea what to expect from it. It also makes it a particularly tricky movie to review, as the less you know, the more you will take away from the clever direction and script that Twohy has crafted. So let me just assure you that, aside from a lack of red herrings, the story is a solid effort on Twohy’s part. Sure, this movie is a little too by-the-numbers to stick out in anyone’s mind, but again, this works in the audience’s favour. Most of you would not have heard of this movie and therefore wouldn’t have had the ending unearthed for you. Hopefully, like me, you will leave this movie nodding your head in approval and a ballsy move on Twohy’s part and be thoroughly impressed, especially for a light thriller that looks like its only aim is to have a few good-looking actors strut around a beautiful island for two hours.
Instead let’s talk about the actors and their respective characters. Milla Jovovich does her usual trick of showing up and being the most loveable woman on-screen. Her bad-ass hero figure that usually is forced upon her is faded out for a more everyday tourist figure. She is the girl you want to be spending holiday with and she is an easy lead heroine to get along with. Steve Zahn is just as relatable. He is the fast-talking, jokey hero that might not be confident when the action scenes come along, but drifts along on his natural charm, making him also a great character to get behind. Despite being trapped with potential killers due to their own decision-making, they make intelligent decisions, making them more than the stupid victims in a thriller movie. Star of the show is Timothy Olyphant, on fine form as the adventurer tourist, caught up in this dash for survival, treating it as if he is the star in his own action movie. He is the more stereotypical hero, all muscles and gadgets, cracking jokes and with a beautiful girl on his arm. However, Twohy’s clever writing doesn’t let Olyphant become too likeable. In fact, for a lot of the movie, he becomes the tourist from hell. Sure, he has done a lot of cool stuff, but he is constantly telling anecdotes and accidentally letting everyone know that he thinks he is better than everyone else. His military ‘Go-America!’ attitude purposefully grates on you and he is a clever depiction of the hero parody. Olyphant, to steal a word from the character’s own mouth, is outstanding. Sadly, the fourth lead, Kiele Sanchez, isn’t given the same material to work with. She isn’t a bad character, but when you have three interesting figures and Sanchez making up numbers, she feels strangely blank, which becomes a problem when a large chunk of the finale is spent with her holding the film on her shoulders. A sad dip in a very well-made action adventure.
Final Verdict: The less said about A Perfect Getaway the better, so let me just prompt you to see it and call it quits.