Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez star in this gripping suspense-thriller about an island vacation that turns deadly. Honeymooners Cliff (Zahn) and Cydney (Jovovich) are hiking a jungle trail to a remote Hawaiian beach when they hear that police have uncovered a grisly murder scene and the suspected killers are somewhere nearby. Unsure whether to stay or flee, the pair joins two other couples and things start to go horribly wrong. Far from civilization, a brutal battle for survival begins where danger lurks along every twist of the path and no one is who they seem. From director David Twohy comes the suspenseful film critics call, “a clever, heart-pounding thriller” (Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle).
The good old B-movie flame burns bright in A Perfect Getaway, David Twohy's rip-snorting guessing game about a vacation gone very, very bad. It must have sounded nice in the planning stages: an isolated honeymoon trek to a remote beach on Kauai, with nothing but backpacks, Hawaiian breezes, and the occasional pleasant encounter with a fellow wayfarer on the hiking trail. That was the plan for newlyweds Cliff and Cydney, anyway, before a shocking murder in Honolulu, the night before the hike, raised the red flag of suspicion. What we're left with is six couples on a lonely trail in paradise, a murderer (but probably two murderers), and a great deal of anxiety. Cliff and Cydney are played by Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich; Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez are a pair of friendly but vaguely disturbing trailmates; Chris Hemsworth and Marley Shelton are a downright creepy couple who won't go away. Twohy has a knack for infectious concepts (see also Pitch Black and The Arrival) and this one is grabby; he's also got a mysterious ability to play the premise straight yet somehow have a great deal of fun with it (for instance, there's much trail talk about the rules of screenwriting, which comes across as playful rather than clumsily self-conscious). The casting works, even if it's difficult for Milla Jovovich to seem in danger from anybody else in the world. Timothy Olyphant is the standout, as a former Special Ops soldier whose survival skills are impressive-bordering-on-scary. Although the film is undeniably built as a whodunit, worry less about the big "reveal" than about having a good time with fun pulp material. Come to think of it, though, the reveal is well played too. --Robert Horton
Stills from A Perfect Getaway (Click for larger image)