Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez
Directed by David Twohy
Distributed by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Ah, the thriller. Nowadays it’s almost a given for films that are classified as such to have some sort of a weird twist ending that’s inserted only as a means to try and mind-fuck its viewers. Usually I’m okay with that as I like to see how far a filmmaker will stretch to try and fool the audience, logic be damned. A Perfect Getaway does indeed have its twist. But instead of blindsiding you with it, it takes you by the hand, sits you down, and dissects it for about ten minutes. More on that in a bit. First let’s tackle the storyline.
The plot is simple yet effective. Screenwriter Cliff (Steve Zahn) and his new bride Cydney (Milla Jovovich) are enjoying their honeymoon in the lovely state of Hawaii. There’s just one little black raincloud hanging over their heads — there are serial killers on the loose who are interested in nothing more than murdering newlyweds. Talk about bad timing, huh? Along the way on their island adventures, they meet another couple: a badass military dude named Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and his all-too-sweet girlfriend (Kiele Sanchez). The foursome end up getting along by sharing some of their time together, but it isn’t long before our happy couple begin to wonder if their new friends are really who they say they are. Soon after that really bad things start happening via paranoia and terror, and of course a fairly decent twist is revealed to the viewer — one that admittedly you may not see coming. But then, holy shit, are you going to see a lot of it.
In a really questionable move director Twohy decides to spend around ten solid minutes (which is even further padded out in the included director’s cut) showing you what feels like nothing short of one of the longest flashback sequences ever until there is absolutely no question as to how and what has just gone on. Talk about over-explaining and overkill. Yes, we realize that sadly today’s audiences aren’t as sophisticated as they once were, but come on, dude! We get it! Move along!
These flashbacks stop the film’s momentum nearly dead in its tracks, and as a result everything afterward feels like an addendum. That is, until the “Call 911” scene, which is probably one of the most laughable movie sequences I’ve sat through in a long time. What a shame. The first and second acts were moving along so nicely. You just have to hate it when things fall apart.
In terms of special features there’s not a whole hell of a lot to see here. The main attraction to this package is the inclusion of the director’s cut, which runs a full ten minutes longer than its theatrical cousin. Don’t get too excited though. It’s mostly just more exposition and of course more flashbacks. YAY! Then there’s the alternate ending, which plays pretty much like the theatrical ending except for a kick to the face yielding blood instead of spit (I kid you not). Why even bother? This new ending wasn’t “SHOCKING” like the box would have you believe. It just left me kind of scratching my head. That’s it? Really? Whatever!
In the end A Perfect Getaway plays more like an average time killer. You’re not likely to be thrilled, shocked, or fooled by any of the movie’s shenanigans, but the flick does have its moments. Pure 100% in one ear and out the other entertainment.
2 1/2 out of 5
1 out of 5
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