After the debacle and severe disappointment that was Chronicles of Riddick, the sequel to the wicked and fun flick Pitch Black, there seemed to be no hope for writer/director David Twohy. He had taken a solid sci-fi/fantasy premise and screwed it up beyond belief to seemingly create his own Star Wars or Matrix franchise. He threw out many of the production’s previous set and costume choices to make up an unforgivably stupid universe with names for planets like Crematoria and races of people like the Furians. He introduced magic into a world that had all the charm and cohesiveness of midi-chlorians in Star Wars. I felt, as I’m sure many did, that Pitch Black was a phenominon and David Twohy; a one hit wonder.
Now, a couple years later he pops up with A Perfect Getaway; a movie about a honeymooning couple that run into another couple on a trail to a romantic beach in Honolulu. There has been a gruesome murder on the island recently and the couple (played by Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich) along with the audience start to wonder if they’re travelling with the murderers. The movie is a straight forward run-of-the-mill Hollywood thriller with a great location. The cast is good enough and the plot is entertaining. That isn’t what makes the movie great.
It feels like Twohy realized his limitations as a screenwriter and decided to go out and buy himself a book on how to properly write a movie and then did just that. He makes one of the characters a scriptwriter and keeps dropping references to “red herrings” and “act two twists” that happen when the audience is thinking of them already. He points them out as though to say, “I know where you think this is heading”, all the while having something else in mind entirely. Given his previous attempts at script writing that were both plodding and disagreeable, this is a fresh and encouraging look at his future.
Other reviews that seem to be disappointed with the movie leave little reason for their criticisms. Others cite the trailer as misleading. This seems ridiculous. The trailer gives you the plot of the movie as plainly as possible, (I would know. It was the reason I saw the movie!) and then delivers on its promise without spoiling the ending like so many other trailers. Sure, this is just another suspense thriller churned out by Hollywood, but that’s the movie that was being made and that was the movie that was advertised. And to add to that, it was well made and entertaining. What more could you want? This is a cool date movie for the summer, with a good cast and few nice twists.