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A Perfect Getaway: Fun summer escape

A Perfect Getaway might be far from perfect, but it’s good enough to be considered one of this summer’s biggest out-of-left-field surprises. A twisty thriller that will keep most audience members alternately on their toes and on the edge of their seats, this feels like a classic case of a B movie showing its more heavily hyped A-list competition how to get the job done with little fuss or fanfare.

A Perfect Getaway is set in Hawaii, but forget Sarah Marshall: Despite some humor spicing up the picture at regular intervals, this mostly shows how Paradise on Earth can quickly morph into a living hell, as news spreads around the islands about how a newlywed couple was gruesomely murdered by another couple who got away. Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich), newlyweds themselves, are determined not to let this disturbing information disrupt their honeymoon, which consists of hoofing it through remote Hawaiian terrain. Largely to steer clear of a menacing couple (Chris Hemsworth and Marley Shelton) giving off that Natural Born Killers vibe, they hook up with another pair (Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez) whose own peculiarities (outlandish Iraq War tales, a glee in skinning and gutting wild animals) quickly unnerve them. Is it possible that Cliff and Cydney’s new friends are the actual killers?

A key scene about two-thirds through the movie is overplayed and in effect makes it easier to guess the major plot pirouette. Yet even those who pick up on the forthcoming twist should enjoy this picture for its other merits, including the shifting dynamics between the characters, some memorable fight sequences, and the manner in which writer-director David Twohy (whose finer moments include co-scripting The Fugitive and serving as writer-director on Pitch Black) plays with audience expectations. A Perfect Getaway will strike some as being too clever for its own good, but others (like me) will view it as an escape from the late-summer doldrums.

Categories 'A Perfect Getaway' Projects review of A Perfect Getaway

Back in the days of movie double-bills and snack-bar food that didn’t cost as much as a small car, “A Perfect Getaway” would have been the perfect diversion.

This enjoyable and suspenseful, if ultimately disposable, thriller from writer/director David Twohy (“Pitch Black”) doesn’t do much new and “the twist” is as obvious as a tornado on the Texas Panhandle. But that doesn’t make it any less of an escapist joyride on a hot summer day.

Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich) are a wide-eyed young couple honeymooning on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, eager to hike to a beautiful but remote beach. But their contentment is sullied by a run-in with a belligerent hitchhiker Kale (Chris Hemsworth) and his girlfriend, Cleo (Marley Shelton), and news that a couple has been brutally murdered on Oahu. The suspects, a man and a woman, are on the lam and possibly making their way to another island.

While on the hike, they make friends with another twosome – Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez) – who seem to have an unnatural ease with knives and gutting goats. Meanwhile, Kale and Cleo, who apparently have trouble letting conflict go, seem to be shadowing Cliff and Cydney and their new, weapons-savvy pals up the trail. And, come to think of it, didn’t that guy (Anthony Ruivivar) from the supply store who helped Cliff and Cydney load stuff into their car have a strange gleam in his eye?

Needless to say, the hike takes a turn for the worse.

Twohy keeps things moving at a breathless clip, ratcheting up the tension and the dark, tongue-in-cheek humor so that, even after the big reveal, the movie doesn’t lose momentum as it speeds to its conclusion. Zahn and Jovovich (best known from the “Resident Evil” films) are strong, Hemsworth and Olyphant radiate the right amount of incipient threat, and lush, sun-drenched Hawaii – despite the murder and mayhem being committed on its shores – looks stunning.

“A Perfect Getaway” isn’t the best movie of the summer by a long shot. But it may be this season’s best summer movie.

Categories 'A Perfect Getaway' Projects review of A Perfect Getaway

Fast and twisty, “A Perfect Getaway” is an economical little thriller that pretty much accomplishes everything it sets out to do.

Granted, it’s not like the movie sets the bar extremely high, but, hey, there’s something to be said for aiming for the middle.

The film focuses on screenwriter Cliff (Steve Zahn, who can liven up any script) and his bride, Cydney (Milla Jovovich, who can’t). The two are honeymooning in Hawaii when news breaks that a man and woman have just killed another newlywed couple.
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`A Perfect Getaway’ isn’t an ideal thriller, but it is ridiculous fun

“A Perfect Getaway” is essentially one big red herring, flopping around on an idyllic Hawaiian beach, desperately trying to call attention to itself.

Everyone’s a suspect and no one’s a suspect, and writer-director David Twohy’s raison d’etre with this thriller — aside from jolting us, of course — is to mess with our brains and keep us guessing until he reveals his Big Twist. It’s not as earth-shattering as “Bruce Willis is actually dead” but it’s a pretty good one, and it’ll make you go back and think twice about what the characters did and said to make sure it all makes sense.

It does, but it’s also a gimmick, and a self-conscious one at that.
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Categories 'A Perfect Getaway' Projects

David Twohy Makes A Perfect Getaway

It’s been five years since David Twohy directed Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick, the sequel to the sci-fi thriller Pitch Black that was somewhat of a shocking departure from the dark stylish horror that found Twohy such a large fanbase, being more of a big budget sci-fi action adventure with huge sets that somehow felt like it was overreaching.

Now, Twohy is back with A Perfect Getaway, a tension-filled thriller that follows a newlywed couple, played by Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich, on their honeymoon in Hawaii who start hearing stories about brutal murders on a neighboring island and start suspecting two other couples they keep encountering on their travels, including a pair of survivalists played by Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) and Kiele Sanchez (Lost). It’s a fun character-based story that takes full advantage of the island surroundings to keep the viewer guessing who might be the killer and what might happen next. had a chance to sit down with Twohy for an exclusive interview, and we quickly learned that Two is not only super-smart but he’s also the epitome of Hollywood cool when it comes to screenwriters — he reminded us of Mamet in that sense — making this a true two-way interaction rather than just another typical filmmaker Q ‘n’ A.
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