by Corey Hall
Back in the day, ads for a flick like this would've warned you not to reveal the shocking twist ending to your friends, which, in this case, is still probably good advice; because if you told your friends about this ending they might think you've lost your marbles. While A Perfect Getaway doesn't sport the year's looniest twist (that honor belongs to Orphan), it's enough of a doozy to make all the blood and sweat and thrills that proceeded it feel a bit like a cheat.
This off-kilter thriller sees honeymooners Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Mila Jovovich) on the road, bound for a remote Hawaiian oasis, accessible only by an isolated mountain trail. Though they neglect to give a lift to a pair tattooed, scruffy hitchhikers, the lovebirds somehow decide to join another couple en route, even though there's news of killers on the loose, and macho outdoorsman Nick (Deadwood's Timothy Olyphant) is vaguely scary.
That's about it, as the movie idles for about an hour waiting for the gimmick to play out, leaving us to consider how good actors end up doing junk.
Olyphant rocks his trademark blend of charm and menace, playing a dude so cocksure he can almost get away with calling himself an "American Jedi," and the normally bold Zahn amusingly plays Cliff as a ball of city-slicker nerves. Less than convincing is Jovovich's valley-girl accent, and the insane, laughable Wile E. Coyote-style violence that finally erupts in the third act.
Another problem is David Twohy's (Pitch Black) annoyingly hip script, which draws attention to itself through aggressive foreshadowing and having the characters openly discussing plot mechanics. All of that showboating only makes the big revelation easier to spot coming, and dumber, especially with some of the illogical moving parts left dangling in the wind.
Corey Hall writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.