A Perfect Getaway (2009)
A couple of young newlyweds (Zahn and Jovovich) celebrate their new life together by going hiking in Hawaii's beautiful Kaua'i Island. As they embark on their trip out to a remote beach, they receive word about a young couple having been killed on an island nearby, and after that they come across first one and then another young couple who both seem a little odd. Could any of these be the killers? And should they stick with one couple to safeguard themselves from the other?
Who can our protagonists trust? And who can we trust? Here's a psychological thriller which knows its identity a little too well (contrary to some of the characaters). This at times overt ouroboric behaviour may have seemed fun for the filmmakers, but I'd rather they'd kept it to between the takes, because it does actually remove some sting and nerve from the story. And the story is clever enough as it is. It may have been the fact that writer/director David Twohy felt he had to defend himself from criticism by adding a little irony, but in my opinion, this works only to highlight what many critics will point out: that his film is a little too clever, a little too playful. Had Twohy chosen to play it straight - albeit with the plot's inherent playfulness - A Perfect Getaway may have become a modern classic in the genre. A hitchcockesque outing in the great outdoors of Kaua'i.
The somewhat stylized, but hairbreadth acting enhances the suspense in the film's first part. Timothy Olyphant is particularly good in a perfect role for him. He's able to give his character the perfect blend of capriciousness and trustworthiness. He's like a guy who you feel may go off at any time, but whom you still would want close to protect you. He's fun too; his invincible ninjaish persona is a delicate combination of caricature and macho-romanticism. With nerdy, wimpish Steve Zahn as his counterpart, Twohy has the tools at his disposal to create abundances of interesting situations and confrontations. And so he does - with a zest of originality too, despite a rather conventional ending.