A Perfect Getaway (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/08/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Enjoyably twisty, impressively directed thriller with great performances, a sharply written script and a pleasingly bonkers finale.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by David Twohy (Pitch Black), A Perfect Getaway stars Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich as Cliff and Cydney, a honeymooning couple who are embarking on a two-day hiking holiday in Hawaii, in order to reach an isolated beach. Along the way they have a tense encounter with shifty-looking hitchhikers Cleo and Kale (Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth), before joining up with another couple, Nick and Gina (Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez), for the hike itself.

However, when they come across a group of panicked hikers discussing the horrifying killing of another pair of newlyweds on the islands - apparently at the hands of a murderous couple - they begin to wonder whether they should turn back. And when Cleo and Kale catch up with them, things get very tense indeed, with nobody quite knowing who they can trust.

The Good
The film is extremely well cast, with Zahn and Jovovich both playing intriguingly against type (he's less nerdy than usual, she's the opposite) and Olyphant and Sanchez having a lot of fun as their rather intense, possibly crazy companions. There's also suitably creepy support from Shelton and Hemsworth, though they're slightly under-served by the script.

That aside, the knowing script has a lot of fun with the usual thriller conventions, largely by having Cliff and Nick discuss screenplay classes, three-act structures, red herrings, second act twists and the like. This also allows for film references galore and affords Olyphant the opportunity to bust out an amusing Nicolas Cage impression.

The Great
It's fair to say that the film takes a while to get going (for fairly obvious reasons), but it all builds to a gloriously bonkers, thrillingly-paced finale that's well worth waiting for.

Worth seeing?
A Perfect Getaway is a well made, sharply written and superbly acted thriller that's a hell of a lot of fun, providing you don't think about it too much afterwards. Perfect Friday night entertainment.

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Content updated: 20/11/2017 13:52

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