A Perfect Getaway (2009)
US (dir. David Twohy)
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovovich, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth, Dale Dickey, Katie Chonacas, Marley Shelton, Steve Zahn, Travis Willingham, Wendy Braun
Synopsis: A Hawaiian honeymoon turns dangerous for two lovers when they discover they are being stalked by a pair of killers.
Review: “A Perfect Getaway” is a a movie ram-packed with actors who are no stranger to the horror genre. Milla Jovovich and Timothy Olyphant are two wonderful actors who, when advertised as being in the same movie, are huge draws (for me at least). Add some Steve Zahn and a sprinkle of that chick who played Dakota in “Planet Terror” and you have the makings of a potentially awesome summer horror film. Unfortunately, this movie is neither awesome nor is it truly a horror movie. It’s more or less a thriller with maybe a few elements of horror (such as some random killer on the loose and a vague hint at some torture scenes).
If you don’t guess the very expected twist that occurs in this movie then you are dumb. They really couldn’t make it any clearer unless they put a fucking sign on Milla Jovovich’s and Steve Zahn’s foreheads reading “HELLO! WE ARE THE KILLERS”. The twist is painfully obvious, but the story is otherwise fairly good. Three couples on vacation run into each other while hiking. Each couple suspects the other couple of being the killers who are stalking the vacation area. The couple you least expect (because the story is primarily focused on their story) are the killers. What kills this otherwise interesting set-up is the execution. Rather than providing us tension and a few unexpected twists and turns, the film just throws a red herring in our face and calls it quits until the big reveal at the end. So instead of building on any suspense and drama, the film just gives up near the end and tries to wrap itself up before the credits roll.
One thing that severely pissed me off was the approximately 15 minute (randomly placed) flashback montage which featured black and white footage of two of the couples before they met. One couple is killing and stealing identities and the other couple is arguing about engagement rings and their relationship. Now I understand the necessity of showing a flashback which revealed who the killers are and how they operate (stealing their victims’ identities), but why bother showing it in black and white? Furthermore, why intersplice that information with a video interlude where the other (good) couple discusses engagement rings and the girl and guy separately scope out potential rings? And why show this in black and white too? I was completely puzzled by this interlude, I even had to rewind the film to see if I missed something (I didn’t). This flashback sequence just pops up like a bad zit and disappears as unexpectedly as it came. I understand that maybe the whole engagement ring interlude was a segway into the reason why the couples vaguely recognized each other upon first meeting (turns out they saw each other while one couple was on a boat and the other couple was on the pier discussing enagagement), but why is so goddamn long? And do we even really need this part?
Some of the acting (okay, specifically Milla Jovovich) is goddamn awful. She looks and sounds like she’s in some fucking 10th grade school play. It’s almost embarassing to watch. She tries to play this silly/cutesy newlywed, but she acts so fake that it’s almost laughable. Later on she puts her angry “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” face on and tries to act all “Grrr… I’m a meanie” but that backfires and she ends up looking like a soft core porn actress playing the lead in a girl-on-girl mud wrestle movie. Seriously, she fights this chick in the dirt and it’s like, am I supposed to take this seriously? That scene was clearly in there so some guy in the audience can later tell his friends, “Yeah, that movie was okay, two chicks started getting wild in the dirt and tearing at each other… it was pretty badass.” Ugh.
The only high point in this movie was Timothy Olyphant. He is the one beam of shining light in this other wise clusterfucky movie. Olyphant plays a former marine who was injured in Afghanistan and tells a whole load of wild tales which illustrate his hightened capacity for survival (i.e. he survived a land mine, he survived a plane crash etc.). I really enjoyed his little tirades where he boasts how he should be in a movie and he discusses the typical set-up of a script for a thriller film. It’s a great little tongue-in-cheek slice of humour that made me love him all the more. Sadly, the rest of the movie is left wanting of my love, because it’s really not that great. I don’t even recommend you watch this movie because of Olyphant. I doubt it would be worth your time.