You have to admire any filmmaker who throws the word “perfect” into his title. For lazy cynical journalists, it’s a gift, and an excuse to tear the film / director / anyone involved a new one. It’s a red rag to a load of bull, frankly, particularly when faced with something so imperfect as A Perfect Getaway. Ho ho, can I write for the Daily Express now, please?
You could, if you want to, pick huge holes in David “Pitch Black” Twohy’s Hawaii-based thriller. The script is hardly Pulitzer-stuff. The characters – the nice couple, the nasty couple, the slightly-too-good-to-be-true couple – are so broadly drawn, they’d look caricatured in a Nickelodeon cartoon. There’s a big twist which is really quite silly in the cold light of day and, worse, you can pretty much sense its existence 10 minutes in. Or, you could sit back, enjoy the scenery and take the ride for what it is: a moderately entertaining, slightly tongue-in-cheek, self-referencing thriller.
Cliff (Zahn) and Cydney (Jovovich) are newlyweds honeymooning in Hawaii. Their plan is to hike to a remote, famously beautiful beach and it would be heavenly and romantic if only stories weren’t circulating about the brutal murders on another island. Someone, it seems, is targeting happy couples. And, according to the grainy CCTV images available, the murderers are themselves a couple – possibly heavily-armed, former special ops man Nick (Olyphant) and his animal-butchering other half Gina (Sanchez). Or maybe it’s the kooky Cleo (Shelton) and her borderline psycho husband Kale (Hemsworth). Or maybe it’s not them. Because that might just be a little too obvious.
After an enjoyable, self-aware build-up, the twist, when it comes, is agreeably daft and kicks the film into full-on chase mode. It’s probably just as well, as the script – and particularly Jovovich’s delivery – veers dangerously close to the laughable just beforehand. A Perfect Getaway is no classic, but disengage the brain and there’s probably just about enough here to tick a few crowd-pleasing boxes.