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A Perfect Getaway

by on August 6, 2009
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Getaway insideA snappy little whodunit with a fun mid-film twist, “A Perfect Getaway” proves to be just that in what has proven to be one of the worst summer movie seasons ever.

“Getaway” follows Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich), newlyweds honeymooning in Kauai. They almost pick up two scary-looking, tatted-up redneck hitchhikers (Chris Hemsworth, showing off his muscular, pre-“Thor” bod, and Marley Shelton), then soon hear of a man-and-woman couple who murdered some newlyweds on Oahu and may be en route to Kauai.

They pause, but still continue their trip, which includes a hike on a somewhat secluded, often dangerous trail. Along the way they meet Nick (Timothy Olyphant), who tells tall tales of storming Saddam’s palace when Iraq fell, bowhunts goats, and generally seems slightly off kilter. His companion Gina (Kiele Sanchez) seems a tick odd as well.

Director David Twohy (“Pitch Black”) plays a shell game with us, daring us to pick the killers, taunting us all the while with discussions of red herrings and Act II twists (Cliff is a screenwriter).  We know Twohy is teasing us with both, but who’s who?

The end of the film morphs from mild vacation thriller to wild b-movie mayhem. The violence amps up to a(n intentionally) comical degree, and characters already acting crazy go off the deep end.

My sole complaint about the picture is a mid-film sequence that goes backtracks and not only explains the twist, but reveals the clues laid out along the way, effectively backtracking and shining a spotlight on the breadcrumbs, which may take away from the rewatchability down the road. 

Olyphant (“Live Free or Die Hard”) gnashes the scenery so much you half expect him to start chomping on trees. He’s devilishly wicked, and has that twinkle in his eye that almost makes you suspect he’s not entirely acting.

Zahn and Jovovich are a relatively convincing couple, and you know their meek demeanors  are destined to shift to something else entirely.

“A Perfect Getway” isn’t the film that will save 2009’s foundering summer season, but it is a solid under-the-radar entry that most moviegoers aren’t aching to see, but won’t be disappointed if they do.

Rating: 4 Yaps out of 5