MOVIE REVIEW: “A Perfect Getaway” stars Steve Zahn (Daddy Day Care, Sahara), Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element, Resident Evil ), Timothy Olyphant (Justified [TV series], The Crazies), Kiele Sanchez (The Purge: Anarchy, Lost [TV series]), Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Snow White and the Huntsman), Marley Shelton (Planet Terror, Never Been Kissed), Anthony Ruivivar (Tropic Thunder, The Adjustment Bureau), and Dale Dickey (Hell or High Water, Iron Man 3). It is written and directed by David Twohy (Pitch Black, Below). Newlyweds Cliff (Zahn) and Cydney (Jovovich) arrive in Hawaii to begin their honeymoon, but are soon thrown into a trip of suspence as they hear news of a couple who recently murdered another pair of newlyweds in Hawaii. On alert, Cliff and Cydney have to do all they can to survive, especially whenever they run into another couple while hiking and are forced to spend time with them.
Woah, a film that is spear-headed by Steve Zahn… you don’t see that everyday. Not to cut down the guy, he’s a good actor; if anything, I wish he got more opportunities to really broaden his acting range. It was a shame to see his latest show “The Crossing” get cancelled, but then again it didn’t look like it was going in a good direction (I saw the first two episodes). Anyway, what’s this movie? Oh right, “A Perfect Getaway.” Yeah, as you can tell by the poster and my quick synopsis above, it obviously wasn’t a perfect getaway for these characters (when is it ever?). Whether or not it was a perfect getaway for the audience, however, is a different question entirely. Obviously, we are all aware of those movies where happiness and bliss is shown in the beginning only to be trampled on by something intense or horrific. It’s the slow push into a horror flick or the spin to some edgy thriller, and “A Perfect Getaway” sought to capitalize on the tropes while carving out its own originality in the process. Written and directed by the man behind the “Riddick” franchise, this feature sees a newlywed couple run into some trouble on their honeymoon when they are thrusted into a situation concerning life and death. The location is Hawaii and the characters are a variety of the nerdy, quirky, and strange. If there’s anything to give this film credit for, it’s the solid performances given by the slew of respectable actors involved. Steve Zahn did well, as did Milla Jovovich and Kiele Sanchez, though Timothy Olyphant stole the show for me. His character had the biggest contrast to the rest and was overall an entertaining presence onscreen. Everyone had good chemistry, and their characters were interesting enough to keep me invested in the story, albeit its simplistic nature. It’s a mystery at heart that unfolds into a David Twohy fest, filled with slow-motion, rapid visuals, and often goofy stylistic choices. I’ve seen it in the two “Riddick” movies I reviewed, but thankfully it only gets this bonkers towards the end. He was rather reserved throughout the film, opting for a sleek cinematic approach that highlights Hawaii’s beauty (and the darkness that lurks within it). Overall, it’s a good-looking movie that holds a lot of solid pieces whether it be the acting, score, or characters, however there is one thing stopping it from actually being… well… recommendable: the ending. My recent review on “About Time” mentioned how a movie could be amazing throughout but fall flat if the ending doesn’t hold up, and while “A Perfect Getaway” certainly didn’t scream Oscar-worthy leading up to its conclusion, the third act laid to rest any hope for it being regarded as a solid experience. Without spoiling it, let me explain it gently. As I’ve stated, the flick is a mystery at heart. The big thing driving this story is trying to figure out what couple killed some newlyweds at Hawaii just as our main characters Cliff and Cydney arrive. They obviously feel like their life is on the line when they run into two mysterious couples, and the movie does it’s best to give the audience enough evidence for things to tilt either way. However, what Twohy settled for was completely ludicrous, solely because of how the twist wasn’t at all plausible. When you want to have a twist in your movie, you make sure to spread enough bread crumbs suggesting it so that when the audience watches it again, it all makes sense why the twist unfolded. This does not mean that you have to make it blatant or place bread crumbs at all, just as long as you don’t lie to the audience in order to make the twist impossible to figure out… like “A Perfect Getaway” did. There was no way to figure out the big reveal at the end because Twohy wrote against it, and I was frustrated to come to this conclusion. Not only did the twist not hold water, but the style of the feature turned for the worst as well. As I stated, it soon fell into Twohy territory, with many goofy visuals and slow-motion to make it look like some kind of Robert Rodriguez flick (and you all know my feelings about that man’s style). I felt betrayed and lied to, and soon enough I could care less how everything else panned out. Everything leading up to the ending was solid. It had a steady pace that didn’t sharply lean towards any clear accusation as to who was behind the newlywed murders. It sought to build up thrills through subtlety and pure character development, but everything fell by the wayside come time the ending. I wouldn’t recommend this film, unless you wanted to see just how it was executed. To spare you the trouble of actually seeing it, scroll below to read my spoiler section on how the ending played everyone. FINAL SCORE: 60%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS!
The twist of the movie was that Cliff and Cydney, our main couple, were the killers all along, presuming the identities of the newlyweds they killed. Great bamboozle, right? Well it would be if there wasn’t an inconsistency: Twohy specifically had them talk together, alone, fearing who the killers could be. Cliff even read the article on the murders and showed Cydney the picture of the suspects, fearing that it could be the couple they’re with. Now how can they be the killers if they were shown talking by themselves, fearing that they would get murdered by the people they’ve been hiking with? You could chalk it up to them being psychopaths, like the movie tries to show in the ending, but it still doesn’t make sense why they talk about being scared of getting killed by these newlywed murderers by themselves if they are them! Come on Twohy, you can’t lie to your audience. It just creates problems for your film.