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“A Perfect Getaway,” the latest from David Twohy via Universal, is an argument for a return to Nitrite film stock. One lighted match and this piece of trash would vaporize.
Consider the proposition, which does not become apparent until the final reel: A couple of meth addicted psychos go on a killing spree, stealing the identities of their victims and eventually coming to a denouement in blue Hawaii. Talk about trouble in paradise. For this mishmash, much ofHawaii was re-created in Puerto Rico. That should be the first clue. The second should be the no-name cast led by Milla Jovovich. In fairness to thesps, not even Richard Burton in his heyday could have brought Twohy’s moribund screenplay to life. But this cast is not on the same planet as the late Burton.
Pic opens with HD home video of one of the world’s most annoying weddings. Then it cuts to the honeymoon couple (Steve Zahn and Jovovich as Cliff and Cydney) driving a rental in Hawaii. When, five minutes into the first reel, a lingering camera reveals a front page headline, “YOUNG COUPLE BUTCHERED IN OAHU,” the audience is hoping that it’s Cliff and Cydney who are offed and that what they just saw is a flashback.
Not much happens for the next hour, except for some encounters that are supposed to build suspense. First encounter pits Cliff and Cydney against Cleo and Kale (Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth). She’s a good looking bimbette. He’s just weird – and violent. “Do Not Revive” tattooed on his chest. Cliff and Cydney are afraid of them. They keep popping up, however, just when things appear to be going smoothly for the honeymooners on their perilous hike to a remote beach. On the hike they encounter Nick (Timothy Olyphant) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez), who are almost as weird as Cleo and Kale. Nick is ex-Special Ops. He also has a metal plate in his head. He regales people with a tale of Saddam Hussein’s secret stash of comic books. Gina is the rebellious daughter of an Army General.
We now have two red herrings. The killers (papers say a couple are theOahu murderers) could be Cleo and Kale or Nick and Gina. Then a stalker, who turns out to be totally harmless, is introduced. Cops arrest Cleo and Kale based on planted evidence. All appears to be well until Cliff, shedding his fearful alter ego, coaxes Nick into a kayaking trip, where he shoots him dead, or so it seems. Almost every time a character dies in “A Perfect Getaway,” it comes back to life just in time to cause more mayhem. Is Twohy fixated on “Fatal Attraction” or “Night of the Living Dead”?
This plot twist accompanies the revelation (via a still photo that Cliff and Cydney incredibly failed to wipe from a video camera they stole from the real Cliff and Cydney) that Cliff and Cydney are the killers. His real name is Rocky. She was attracted to the danger of his sociopathy. We know this from the few episodes of girl talk between Cydney and Gina. Just in case we have not figured it out, Twohy drives it home with revelations of the pair’s preparation in blue-tinted flashback. Enough already. Subsequent unspooling offers some utterly predictable rough stuff, including a girl-on-girl knockdown-dragout on a very high cliff between Cydney and Gina. The only remaining question is, “Who dies?” If helicopters had been around in the 17th Century we’d be saying Deus ex Chopper instead of [wikipop]Deus ex Machina[/wikipop] about pic’s contrived ending.
Tech credits are merely adequate, but tech is the only area where “A Perfect Getaway” rises above the low-budget exploitation genre film that goes directly to video. Pic carries an “R” rating thanks to blood, gore, and some nudity. There is also one horrific lapse in continuity: In just two days (pic’s action takes place over three) Nick’s chest goes from shaven to hairy. Male chest hair does not grow that fast. Although it runs only about 100 minutes, “A Perfect Getaway” feels like a round trip.
—30—A Perfect Getaway on Netflix