Later, once the newlyweds begin hiking through the rocky land, they meet a more kindly couple, Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez). The four of them hit it off well enough and decide to hike the rest of the way together. Along the way, they hear word of recent murders taking place in Honolulu -- committed supposedly by a man-and-woman team -- and soon thereafter, they cross paths with an understandably peeved Kale and Cleo. Immediately, Cliff and Cydney suspect that the hitchhikers could be the killers.
Soon, however, paranoia makes the newlyweds begin to eye their companions with suspicion. Nick carries a knife and tells horror stories about his time as a special ops soldier, while Gina seems to know a bit too much about gutting a goat. With no shortage of suspects, Cliff and Cydney must keep their heads on a swivel as they trek through the wilderness, desperately trying to reach civilization before the killers strike again.
The End Result
The ensemble cast performs admirably, particularly Zahn as the uptight fish out of water and Olyphant as the friendly but imbalanced loose cannon. Unlike most genre films, each of the three couples has a unique and realistic identity, a refreshing depth of character culled from both the script and the actors.
Twohy's direction, meanwhile, is smartly restrained and benefits from the smaller scale and less grandiose expectations of Riddick (with the accompanying less need for CGI effects and Vin Diesel's ego). He manages to maintain tension throughout, even though the action is reserved almost exclusively for the final third of the film -- a rarity in this age of tacked-on scenes whose only purpose is to boost the body count and keep the audience awake. When the action does rev up, Twohy uses some creative points of view to heighten the popcorn fun.
It's not perfect, but A Perfect Getaway is a fine summer retreat.
- Acting: B (Solid all around, with Olyphant carrying the bulk of the energy.)
- Direction: B (Maintains an appropriate level of suspense through stretches of inaction.)
- Script: B (Smart and playful, albeit a bit deceptive.)
- Gore/Effects: C (Not much gore needed; some of the CGI landscape effects are a bit too unreal.)
- Overall: B (A fun whodunit with enough tension, mystery and visual flair to keep you engaged.)
A Perfect Getaway is directed by David Twohy and rated R by the MPAA graphic violence, language including sexual references and some drug use. Release date: August 7, 2009.