A Perfect Getaway is the cinematic thriller version of a beach book. It takes place in an exotic location, there are easily relatable situations and characters, and once the twists begin, the movie flies along to a satisfying conclusion.
Cliff and Cyndy* (Zahn & Jovovich) are a newlywed couple on their honeymoon in rural Hawaii. They decide to go off the beaten path and take a few days to go to one of the small islands and a several mile hike that will lead them to a paradise-like nature reserve with a brilliant beach, cove, caves, etc.
*Cyndy? For Zeus’ sakes. It’s a screen play, the woman’s name is Cindy, why the hell does it have to be spelled like a call girl?
Once they’ve hiked some distance and committed to the trip, the couple hear the news of a newlywed couple that was murdered near the resort area in which they just left. To complicate matters, they meet two other couples who have also left from the same area around the same time. One couple includes Chris Hemsworth (recently cast as Thor) who comes off as irritable and menacing. The other couple is Nick and Gina (Olyphant & Kiele Sanchez) who, though friendly, display extreme survival skills that include the dressing of game and hunting with but a knife. Furthermore, Nick claims he is an ex Special Ops solider and spins tale after tale of his unbelievable and violent exploits once he discovers that Cliff is a screen writer and the two couples decide to travel together.
A Perfect Getaway is a fast paced little thriller that hooks the viewer early. There is a twist or two of which I will not address. The film sets the location well with postcard shots of enchanting costal wilderness and the acting tightens the screws on the tension. Even Jovovich, usually a wooden and charisma-free actor, injects realism into her role.
The star of the show, however, is Olyphant. Olyphant plays Nick as a voluble redneck wrapped in a bundle of testosterone. Nick oscillates back and forth from friendly to intimidating which provides a contrast that confuses the viewer as to what Nick will do next. Cliff and Cyndy have also become somewhat reliant on the more wilderness savvy couple, which causes frayed nerves when Nick begins to challenge and jeer Cliff regarding manly endeavors.
A Perfect Getaway is just that – a simple and refreshingly uncomplicated (even with the twist or two) escapist thriller perfect for having fun at home with the lights out and a bowl of popcorn in-hand.