A Perfect Getaway (2009)

Directed By: David Twohy
Written By: David Twohy
Starring: Milla Jovovich
  Steve Zahn
  Timothy Olyphant
  Marley Shelton
A Perfect Getaway

On initial understanding of the plot, A Perfect Getaway seems startlingly simple and tragically unoriginal, but this thriller / horror truly grips, is exceptionally scripted and very well directed, bringing the best performances out of some actors more recently known for mediocrity at best.

Sickeningly loveable newlyweds Cliff and Sydney (Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich) are adventure honeymooning in Hawaii when they run into suspicious-looking hitch-hikers Cleo and Kale (Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth). Cleo and Kale automatically paint themselves as potential murderers when the news breaks of another freshly married couple having been recently killed nearby. Trying to steer clear of the potential teeth-ripping psychopaths, Cliff and Sydney leave them behind and encounter Nick and Gina, a pleasant and care-free couple also enjoying the adventure of hiking to an isolated beach. Teaming up, both couples head further into the greenery of the island and away from civilization, only to realize their plans are about to go horribly awry.

All the cast excel at what they’ve been given, Jovovich and Zahn giving especially powerful performances unlike anything you’ve ever seen them do before. The main four actors create immensely likeable characters, so when the violence escalates it is gripping and unnerving. For gore-hounds there’s a smattering of nasty violence in the form of brutal gun-shot executions, bloody skin-flapping knife wounds and other brutality. It is effective, not overdone and in places, truly nasty.

A Perfect Getaway is not flawless though, stumbling occasionally with the minor characters and pacing in the middle sections, but David Twothy manages to make a believability-stretching twist actually believable with some decent and necessary flashbacks, well shot and gripping.

David Twothy has had a good run with writing and directing front, responsible for the cult Pitch Black and criminally underrated Below, and has successfully proved that there is life after death (or The Chronicles of Riddick, as it’s known…). A Perfect Getaway is smartly filmed, beautifully displaying a gorgeous Hawaii whilst simultaneously portraying how dangerously isolated the islands are – steep drops, cul-de-sac sea caves, inland cliffs and endless jungles of green. The little things (like a run-over newspaper and the bright-white flashback of Zahn and Jovovich’s faces) really add to the overall feel that this film has been expertly and lovingly crafted.

A Perfect Getaway is a cheap satisfying thrill-ride that is well acted, directed and written but pushes few boundaries. Thoroughly enjoyable, tense and immensely watchable, this film is great entertainment.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

One Comment on “A Perfect Getaway”

  1. stonecypher says:

    Great review – going to see this on Wednesday, looking forward to it now, as I wasn’t really sure what to expect!

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