Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Man, it has got to blow to be smarter than everybody else because when you’re smarter than everybody else one simply can’t enjoy anything because one is too busy being smart. Take this movie ‘A Perfect Getaway’ for example which I personally thought was a pretty cool thriller with some solid performances and featured a well played hand from director David Twohy. However you will read out there in the Internets, the bastion of fairness, clear thought and intelligent conversation, that certain individuals guessed the ‘twist’ in the movie in the first five minutes and thus it sucked. First of all guessing the twist, as it were, in the first five minutes would be damn near impossible since there’s no twist to guess in the first five minutes. Now once the mystery kicks in, that being that we have three couples and one of these couples is probably a pair homicidal maniacs, now you have a one in three chance of guessing who these maniacs are. My suggestion, if you choose to watch this movie sometime down the line, would be don’t try to guess. This isn’t Agatha Christie, and once we get to the big reveal there’s still a third act to get through. Enjoy it for what it is. I did.

The incredibly happy couple of Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich) have just tied the knot and are in scenic Hawaii to enjoy their honeymoon on one of those islands that I can’t afford to go to. It will be a glorious three days of hiking trails, playing on beaches and BJ’s in moving cars for this happy couple, who quite honestly are so happy that they were starting to irritate me.

While heading towards their trail destination Cliff stops to pick up a pair of hitchhikers in Kale (Chris Hemsworth) and Cleo (Mary Shelton) and it doesn’t take long to figure out that there’s something wrong with these guys, especially Kale who seems to have some serious anger management issues. Discretion being the better part of valor the newlyweds leaves these two behind to find their own way.

Apparently there is no shortage of weird couples walking around in Hawaii for next our newlyweds run into Nick (Timothy Olyphant) who claims to be a former special ops navy SEAL cat and has anointed himself as the American Jedi, and is obviously completely out of his mind. A little saner, but not by much, is his lady love, the free spirited Gina (Kiele Sanchez) who freely speaks her mind and can gut a goat with the best of them. This about the time that our couples become aware of the presence of a pair of homicidal maniacs somewhere on the island, maniacs who have just murdered a pair of newlyweds on their honeymoon and threw them in a dumpster which puts the skittish Cliff on edge with Cliff’s nervous behavior starting to freak out his bride. Now these murderers could be anybody but Cliff is fairly convinced that it’s either Nick and his woman or the Anger Management challenged Kale and his lady. Kale, you see, always seems to be around, almost as if he’s following somebody.

Without giving too much away one of these couples is indeed a pair of homicidal maniacs with the question being would our couples who aren’t homicidal maniacs find a way to survive this rather lethal camping trip?

With the exception of ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ I like the movies that director David Twohy makes. Great videogame though. Of the movies of Mr. Twohy’s that I have scene the director does a very good job of making methodical, creepy movies that’s heavy on mood and features characters who don’t have much of a clue what is going around them, and these movies usually keep the audience in the dark as well with ‘A Perfect Getaway’ being no different. This is a flick that hums along at a leisurely pace considering the long scenic shots of beautiful Hawaii, and some interesting repartee between the fine cast of actors, but it slowly amps up the tension through the course of its first two acts which does keep the audience on edge with the knowledge that something isn’t quite right, even if it’s only in the back of our minds.

A lot of the success of the film is accomplished on the strength of the cast, particularly Timothy Olyphant who has made quite the career for himself by looking crazy, and Steve Zahn who gets a chance to play something outside of the silly comic relief minded sidekick and he took the opportunity for all it was worth.

Once we learn the lowdown this is around the time that ‘A Perfect Getaway’ stops being a clever whodunit and becomes an action thriller showdown but even that worked for me. I am of the mind, at least in this movie, that it is less important ‘who’ and more important ‘why’ so even if you do guess the who you still need to know the why which makes for a much more interesting scenario.

Admittedly Twohy deals a few cards from the bottom of the deck to achieve his goal and as is typical in a movie of this nature there are a few things that might not make a helluva lot of sense here and there but the bottom line is that I enjoyed ‘A Perfect Getaway’ quite a bit. But of course I’m not all that bright either so take that with a grain of salt.

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