Friday 14 August 2009

Review: A Perfect Getaway

Year: 2009
Director: David Twohy
Screenplay: David Twohy
Starring: Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant

After leaving the cinema all i had to say was hummmmm. I guess I'll give A Perfect Getaway an A for effort as for the most part the film is well acted and the setting is perfect for the film. It's a shame that A Perfect Getaway has a third act that disrupts the tone far too much to be satisfying. Many will complain about the films twist (which Twohy placed a lot on) but the revel doesn't bother me, it's everything after said reveal that annoys.

When the films opening titles came up I took a shot about the films twist and because I watch too many movies I was right. This wasn't too much of an issue because David Twohy's (Pitch Black) script is snappy, and his direction does just enough to distract me from my smugness. Since Eli Roth's Hostel, horror and thriller have been doing the rounds in various tourist traps and Twohy makes sure that Hawaii is shot the best. A Perfect Getaway reminds me of films like The Decent, in which the films surroundings become part of the film. It subtly shows how easily something bad could happen in such a place and how simple it could be to disappear. Twohy balances this with playful character interaction drawing up some smart performances from the leads, with Steve Zahn in particular looking the most grateful, finally being allowed to have some range and not play the Zany sidekick.

For the most part this is all well crafted and while other reviews have claimed that the films build up is boring, I was having a blast. That is, until the films climax. Twohy's suddenly shoves the film into overdrive and once the films pulls the rug from under you, it decides that character motivations are no longer important, and contrivance is far more interesting than anything that happened before hand. It's clear that Twohy wants to play around with the "tourist torture" sub-genre, but if that's the case why does everything fall apart after the reveal? It's at this point that the film should tighten it's grip, instead the film becomes more flimsy in logic.

The film becomes more violent but not for the better because I don't buy what the characters do after the rug pull. Actions just don't ring true and the high amount of violence does nothing to distract the fact that Twohy kills the films rhythm and pace by placing an overlong flashback explaining the ins and outs of said twist. It doesn't help that more characters are introduced for no reason other then to up the body count, but by the time this happens I've already lost interest.

Twohy once again shows that he is a solid enough genre filmmaker, however A Perfect Getaway takes a wrong turn before the final hurdle and with that fails to finish satisfyingly. The holiday hell thriller still has legs in it before it gets stale, but those looking for something a little fresher may need to look elsewhere.

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