Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

A Perfect Getaway

A Perfect Getaway
Timothy Olyphant, Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Kiele Sanchez, Marley Shelton

Rated: R 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 7, 2009 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

This disposable popcorn entertainment works better as a travelogue than an action/horror yarn.

It's getting to be late in the summer movie season, so A Perfect Getaway, which stars Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich, appears to be missing part of its brain like one of its characters explains.

Honeymooning lovebirds Cliff and Cydney (Zahn and Jovovich) are celebrating by backpacking to one of the most beautiful, and remote, beaches in Hawaii (the less touristy ones). Hiking the wild, secluded trails, they believe they've found paradise, along with other inquisitive types, initially hitchhikers, like the enigmatic Kale (Chris Hemsworth) and Cleo (Marley Shelton). But when the pair comes across a group of frightened hikers mentioning the horrifying murder on the island of another newlywed couple.

One begins to anticipate the violent set pieces as that and the banter between couples divided along gender lines begins to intensify. This unrealized case of exotic horror from David Twohy (remember Pitch Black) begins its decent into a wildly preposterous realm with a spooky, somewhat coercive and contrived momentum as Cydney wants to go through with their wedding present, less nervous and observant than Cliff. Even after his yellow jeep goes through a headline in a newspaper "Couple Butched in Hawaii."

Twohy wastes the talent of Jovovich and especially Zahn, who was decent in the recent Management and much better in indies like Rescue Dawn. The most lively couple in a film which calls to mind The Beach and a better meller like last year's Transsiberian is war-veteran Nick (Timothy Olyphant of Live Free or Die Hard) and unsuppressed Southern belle Gina (Kiele Sanchez) as an unmarried loving couple befriending Cliff and Cydney

The screenplay tries to create interest from the contrasting nature of the couples with urbanites Cliff and Cydney finding their counterparts appealing in their passionate, outdoorsy ways. Twohy tints the later frames more ominously after an unwise decision on his part coming on the heels of a long, expository one-sided conversation between Cydney and Gina.

Ultimately, the filmmakers given in to the unhinged ways of a homicidal maniac on the loose, and A Perfect Getaway turns out to be a silly survival of the fittest that makes one give in with giggles more than shudder. With all the hellish stuff going on it becomes more embarrassing for the participants, noticeably Zahn, as death at least for one doesn't happen like it seems in a sexy vacation nirvana.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
A Perfect Getaway        D+                  D+ 

Home | Search | Reviewer Bios | Links | Mail Us
Copyright © 2009 Projections