Friday, August 7, 2009

Review: 'A Perfect Getaway' (C)

By Chase Kahn

David Twohy's A Perfect Getaway is a silly, twisty, and manipulative rated-R horror/thriller. An exotic locale, "who's the killer?" kind of deal with a megaton twist more than halfway through, the film is entirely too forthcoming in the last act, explaining every last detail with washed-out flashbacks until it bloodies its way to the finish line, leaving a cloud of indifference in its wake.

Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) and Steve Zahn (Rescue Dawn) play two newlyweds on their honeymoon in Hawaii. They meet two sketchy jungle-dwellers, played by Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek) and Marley Shelton (Planet Terror) who may or may not be the two killers of a couple from Honolulu -- just recently reported. Meanwhile, Timothy Olyphant (Hitman, Live Free or Die Hard) and Kiele Sanchez ("Lost") are another possible pair of Tarzan and Jane-like lovers who are suspiciously brutish.

Let the games begin, right?

Writer/Director David Twohy (Pitch Black) opens up the floodgates for criticism by making one of the characters (Zahn) a Hollywood screenwriter. Thus, open conversation about stories and facts and details bring about questions regarding the film itself. For example, Olyphant's character talks about a "red herring" -- a plot device or character meant to mislead the audience. Hey, that's his character! I'm catching on, Dave!

In trying to play a game with the audience this way, Twohy inadvertently gives away a bit of his ammunition. He also explains things too much -- at the moment of the twist reveal, we witness about a 6-7 minute flashback sequence that's unnecessarily descriptive. With this tactic he holds the hand of the same audience he's been trying to pull one over on.

What follows is far too rushed, flashy and gory. Twohy becomes manipulative in a different sense: he's forcing faces into palms and groans from disgusted looks with a barrage of gore and flesh dissection. Rather willingly or unwillingly, A Perfect Getaway turns into the same trash that it was trying to expose by citing their trite and cliched plot devices and characters. Well, here's another one.

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