This Friday, the tropical thriller A Perfect Getaway might fly underneath your radar due to the high visibility of G.I Joe: Rise of Cobra. Getaway is a quiet killer in more ways than one. It features a cast of known but not overly exposed actors led by Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich. The film is written and directed David Twohy, the man who wrote The Fugitive and Pitch Black. For three couples, A Perfect Getaway is anything but, it’s filled with murder, mayhem, and mystery set against the backdrop of paradise. Cue the irony.
The film centers on newlyweds Cliff (Zahn) and Cydney (Jovovivh). They’ve just arrived on the Island of Hawaii to celebrate their honeymoon. While on a trail through the mountains they meet two other couples. A suspicious pair of hitch hikers named Cleo (Marley Shelton) and Kale (soon to be Thor Chris Hemsworth), and an ex-soldier Nick (Timothy Olyphant), and his dope toting girlfriend Gina (Kiele Sanchez). The six of them end up vacationing together, when the news breaks that another newly wed couple has been brutally murdered. The killers are described as a man and a woman hopping from island to island. Unfortunately, since they all fit the description, everyone becomes a suspect.
- Steve Zahn: His character is more than what meets the eye. He brings across a certain level of vulnerability and innocence that serves the story in more ways than one. As an actor who’s been working in the business steadily for almost 20 years, I feel that he’s finally starting to get roles with a little more depth.
- Kiele Sanchez: Before going into this I didn’t even know she was in this movie, but she stole the show as Nick’s free spirited girlfriend. She portrayed her as more than just a space case and made her character watchable without being annoying.
- The script: I should actually say the third act of the film. This film took me to places I had no idea it would go, and in a good way. There’s a huge twist in the story, that is a welcome surprise and makes A Perfect Getaway a worthwhile investment.
- The cinematography: I liked the visual style of the film all around, and the camera work was excellent. There were some pretty breathtaking shots of the island paired with some intense action and chase scenes. You really end up paying attention to what’s happening, which I did.
- The dialogue: I know I just raved about the script, but that was with an emphasis on the overall plot. In this case, some of the actual lines were pretty bad. Certain conversations seemed forced. It seemed like is they just dialed it down a bit, it would have been tolerable.
- Timothy Olyphant: I hate to say this because I am a huge Deadwood fan, and I think Olyphant is one to watch, but his talent was wasted here. Nick was a pure caricature of people suffering from post traumatic stress. A lot of his dialogue meant nothing, and just took up time. The only thing that stood out was his signature catch phrase “Outstanding,” even though his character was anything but.
- Milla Jovovich: I think her character Cydney was badly written, and she definitely portrayed her that way. Out of everyone else, she was the hardest person to watch onscreen. Nothing she did came across as natural. She didn’t really fit the good girl image of the role she was playing. As an actor you should be able to morph yourself into whomever, and that wasn’t the case here. It felt like she was phoning this was in.
At the beginning, A Perfect Getaway has to find it’s legs but the payoff at the end is worth the wait. It’s more than what you’d expected from the trailer, which only scratches the surface of what the film’s really all about.