Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Perfect Getaway - DVD Review


Starring Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Kiele Sanchez, Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth.
Directed by David Twohy.

This is a screenplay that is really proud of itself. It reminded me of the play-turned-movie Deathtrap by Ira Levin, where the characters are very self-aware that they are characters, and that what is happening around them is plot. In fact, I looked up Deathtrap to make sure I had Ira Levin's name right, and what do you know, one of the character names from Deathtrap shares a name with a character from A Perfect Getaway. I saw that, and I felt like I'd just had my own little Act 2 twist for the day.

This movie is about Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cyndey (Milla Jovovich), two newlyweds who go to vacation in Hawaii. But just when they set out on the island, word gets around there's a young couple posing as newlyweds who've murdered two people. Suddenly every couple they meet seem suspicious. Couples practically introduce themselves to Cliff and Cyndey with "Hi, we're suspicious." Like the tattooed-backpackers Kale and Cleo. Hmm...

Cliff is a screenwriter, so when they later hook up with Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez), Nick has all sorts of screenplay tips for him. Nick's got some wild stories about being in Special Ops, and Gina seems a bit off-kilter herself. Could they be the killers? Hmm...

The movie nicely keeps the suspense going, and the big Act 2 twist hits, and part of me wanted to go back and watch the first hour again just to make sure it fit what had happened. I'll just assume David Twohy had his screenplay bases covered. He worked on it a long time. I just wish there could have been a few minutes in the movie somewhere where I could have forgotten that these are CHARACTERS in a SCREENPLAY.

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