Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A PERFECT GETAWAY - Trouble In Paradise

A PERFECT GETAWAY (mystery thriller)
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Marley Shelton, Steve Zahn, Kiele Sanchez, Katie Chonacas, Chris Hemsworth, Dale Dickey, Wendy Braun and Tory Kittles
Director: David Twohy
Time: 98 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)

Jovovich and Zahn in A PERFECT GETAWAY

PREAMBLE: This is a murder mystery set in the idyllic paradise of Hawaii - yeah, a tale about how Eden can turn into Hell just by throwing a killer couple into the fray. Writer-director David Twohy seems overly concerned about the 'big twist' in his story - and he throws 'red snappers' (his version of red herrings) along the way.

There are some nude bathing scenes but these are sanitized by Malaysian censors.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich) are newlyweds on their honeymoon in Hawaii. Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez, pic below, left) are unmarried adventurers looking for one more destination to add to their resume, and Kale (Chris Hemsworth) and Cleo (Marley Shelton) are hitch-hiking types who are uncharacteristically crude and rude.

The three couples are on the mountain trail when news filters down about the bloody murders of two newlyweds honeymooning in Hawaii. Cliff and Cydney are freaked out by the news, and they suspect Nick and Gina and Kale and Cleo. Nick's Special Ops background and his skills with weapons make him suspicious, and Kale's bad-boy disposition makes everyone uneasy.

Now guess which couple is the culprit!

HITS & MISSES: Nothing much happens by way of plot development until we get to two-thirds of the movie. After that, it is a frantic rush to tie-up the loose ends and consolidate the action and tension. Twohy hides key clues and details from viewers until after the surprise is revealed. You won't enjoy the movie if you feel cheated that the director has purposely led us astray.

Cast-wise, I have no complaints. Zahn and Jovovich are credible as 'geeky' types who need to be persuaded to take risks; Shelton and Hemsworth fit the bill as the 'unsociable' couple while Sanchez (of TV's Lost) is watchable in all her scenes. Also, Twohy seems to be more concerned with Jovovich's acting than her 'body language' but it is Olyphant who holds our attention and curiosity. The cinematography of the landscapes and locales is top class.

THE LOWDOWN: Mainly for mystery thriller fans.


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