Director: David Twohy
Cast: Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez
Watch A Perfect Getaway online in the UK: iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
Honolulu. Say it slowly. Honolulu. Sounds gorgeous, doesn’t it? But wait. One more time. Honolulu. Sounds a lot like death. One more time. Go on, spell it. D-e-a-t-h. Honolulu. The perfect spot, then, for a murder-free honeymoon. Right? Wrong.
Cliff (Zahn) and Cydney (Jovovich) are newlyweds, in love with the view as much as each other. He’s a screenplay writer. He writes films – “actually, we just call it screenwriter”. Bespectacled and bumbling, Cliff’s your perfect pick for a hubby. But as they hit the trail, news reaches them of some gruesome killings in the area. The victims? Couples on their honeymoons.
Fearing their nuptials could turn nasty, they plough on to the next beach, winding their way past waterfalls, video camera in hand. Enter Nick (Olyphant), a rough and ready rambler, armed with knives, axes and a whole heap of horrific stories from Iraq. Perhaps Cliff will write a film about him. Nick’s girlfriend, Gina (Sanchez), certainly hopes so. Sticking together for safety, the foursome continue down the coast, wary of another odd couple following them through the forests.
As glorious sunsets come and go, the heat begins to rise. So does the tension. “The only way off this island is by helicopter or kayak. It’s worth remember that,” says their tour guide, smiling. The way things are going, of course, we know they’ll be lucky to get off at all.
Shot and scripted with a nail-biting simplicity, A Perfect Getaway unfolds as a thrilling, solid B-movie. Then comes the third act. Letting go with an over-the-top revelation, it’s here that the film threatens to lose track. But this is in the hands of David Twohy, a decent director who knows how to handle horror (he helmed the wonderful Pitch Black). With him onboard, the production stays tight, using adept editing to produce a brilliant on-foot chase at the film’s close; thanks to David, even the schlock feels smart and suspenseful.
Accelerating with a confident pace, Twohy teases top-notch turns from all his cast – in particular, the ever-watchable Steve Zahn, who hogs your attention from the outset. Timothy Olyphant, too, takes pleasure in teetering on the edge of anger without overacting. Together, they create a decent double-act that doesn’t lose its credibility, even when the screenplay almost has.
With its beautiful locations and stripped-down scares, this B-movie is as cheap and compelling as they come. Quality of the highest sub-standard.
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