"A Perfect Getaway" DVD, Blu-Ray Movie Review (2009)

1/01/2010 Posted by Admin

DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

"A Perfect Getaway"

Directed by David Twohy, Written by Twohy, rated R, 98 Minutes.

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

"A Perfect Getaway" is a film unlike most I've seen these days. It has all the principle cliches of a modern thriller, but it manages to almost work because of those cliches rather than despite them. It uses tradition and molds it in a way that makes the film more of a celebration of cliches than a tired vessel for them.

The film, partly a mystery and partly a thriller, follows three couples on vacation on an island in Hawaii--Cliff and Sydney (Steve Zahn and Milloa Jovovich), Cleo and Kale (Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth) and Gina and Nick (Kiele Sanchez and Timothy Olyphant). Trouble is, the three couples soon discover that there was a couple was brutally murdered in Honolulu the day before--and one of the couples present may very well be the culprits.

Writer and director David Twohy toys with the audience a great deal early on in the mystery, showing arbitrary shadows in the woods, revealing troubling facts about each couple, and mocking his own film with references to red herrings and cliched villains and twists. It's very reminiscent of some of the techniques Wes Craven used in his "Scream" trilogy to both laugh with and at his own film. Both "Scream" and "A Perfect Getaway" are traditional genre pictures, but they become self-aware to the point that you can laugh even while you're jumping out of your seat.

The ultimate solution to the puzzle presented here could certainly be seen as ludicrous. What one may notice with actual thought, however, is that the big revelation of the film (that is, who happens to be the murderers) is entirely plausible and makes perfect sense looking back on all of the clues the film provides. It might appear nonsensical upon first glance--and to be completely honest, it is a bit silly--but everything you've seen leading up to it definitely clued you in were you to notice all the signs. It's pretty clever, all things considered.

If there is any fault to be found in the script, it's with the dialogue. While some of the cuter winks to the audience are amusing and refreshing, the general conversations often can be cringe-worthy, and even if it was Twohy's intention to make the dialogue so goofy so as to fit his overall stereotypical portrait, it nonetheless hinders the mood. That said, the performances are quite good, especially from Olyphant and Zahn, who work a bit out of their element and definitely to their advantage. Sanchez, who is familiar with the Hawaiian setting due to her short work on "Lost," portrays the "is-she-or-isn't-she?" aspect of her character extraordinarily well. Jovovich is the only one who falls a bit short, but thankfully, she manages to up the ante a bit in the last act and comes out better than she starts.

Overall, "A Perfect Getaway" is a great deal of fun, and when it's so hard to come by a solid popcorn thriller these days, I was very pleased with how it turned out.

Grade: B-

View the trailer for the movie "A Perfect Getaway" below. What are your thoughts?

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  1. Mamma-M said...

    I'm such a sucker for films that are full of cliches and hints at what the ending will be. It's like I still am sucked into it to see what the ending is, even though everyone knows that the results will be. I guess we all are, and I guess that's why these films make money!

  2. smartshopper2 said...

    Thanks for the review, sounds like a fun distraction. Will check it out.