Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Perfect Getaway

Year: 2009
Director: David Twohy
Cast: Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth, Marley Shelton

It's been a while since I've watched a whodunit type thriller at the movies. And this one I saw yesterday was quite entertaining.

Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich play newlyweds Cliff and Cydney, who are enjoying their honeymoon hiking in the remote islands of Hawaii. While there, they run into another couple, Kale and Cleo (Chris Hemsworth and Marley Shelton), who seem intimidating and dangerous. Cliff and Cydney almost get into a confrontation with them after they refuse giving them a ride in their jeep, and proceed to their destination.

Later, C & C meet another couple, Nick and Gina (Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez), who are interesting but downright weird. Nick for one, claims to have been in the military, and has several outstanding stories to tell, the kind that'll make you wonder if he's trustworthy or not. It doesn't help matters that there were reports of a couple being found murdered just the day before, and that authorities are looking for the suspects, a man and a woman. Cliff and Cydney tread carefully with their new friends, and then notice Kale and Cleo following them on their path too. So who can they trust?

David Twohy made one of the best remembered B-grade films ever: Pitch Black. It cemented Vin Diesel's action hero persona and the film became a cult classic. Now Twohy makes another B-grader, a suspense thriller, and it delivers more often than not. There are no A listers in this film, but the cast are on par with their performances. Twohy also paces the film well, and he does a brilliant job in getting the most out of his scenery.

Out of the cast, Zahn and Olyphant stand out best. Zahn is a tour de force, especially in the third act, when he stops being the weasel type guy he has perfected in so many of his other roles. Olyphant is also, as his character likes to say, outstanding, as Nick. I hated his performance as the villain in Die Hard 4, and I had trouble taking him seriously in any other role besides Seth Bullock in Deadwood. But here, he redeems himself as the eccentric Nick, and his continuous banter with Zahn about movie screenwriting will keep you in stitches. Sanchez also impresses as Gina, which is a step up from her shortlived role on TV's Lost.

Now, this movie, being a whodunit thriller, has to have a twist. And it is a brilliant one too. I saw it coming though, because I keep reading reviews and such. But it didn't ruin my enjoyment in any way. However, I didn't like how Hemsworth and Shelton were quite underused here.

Anyway, you ought to go see this. It's a nice way to spend two hours. (3.5/5)

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