As soon as the credits started to roll for A Perfect Getaway, my immediate thought was “I need to watch this film again to determine if I really like it or not.” With so much mistrust in the movie, it was as if I started mistrusting the film’s portrayal on how good it really was.
Translation: A Perfect Getaway will only be as good as its ability to cover its misleading tracks well. If it truly presents an air tight script & plot, then this movie could really make a case as one of the best releases this year so far. It had a solid balance of suspense, thrills, comedy, and romance, sprinkled with just enough distractions to keep you guessing who’s the murderers, and who’s the victims. Otherwise, holes and inconsistencies could potentially be a killer. Pun intended.
A Perfect Getaway follows Cliff (Steve Zahn) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich), newlyweds enjoying their Hawaiian honeymoon, exploring the different Islands, and doing a little hiking. Along the way after a quick stop at the convenient store, they meet Kale (Chris Hemsworth) and Cleo (Marley Shelton), hitchhiking along the roadside. After hesitation in picking the strangers up, Cleo and Kale abruptly leave. Later, while hiking, they next meet Nick (Timothy Olyphant), who assists them on part of their journey. Along the way, a group of frantic girls speak on the murders of a couple on the Island of Oahu, and the police were looking for a man and woman, whom which have traveled to the present Island. As Cliff, Cydney, and Nick continue on, and discover Nick has a girlfriend, Gina (Kiele Sanchez), suspicions start to arise. The picture only gets even more hazy when Cleo and disgruntled Kale show up on the same trail.
A Perfect Getaway does a really nice job at some of the subliminal hints it throws at the viewer. In one scene regarding Screenwriting (Cliff mentioned to Nick he was a Screenwriter), after Nick mistakenly says “Red Snapper,” then Cliff corrects him with “Red herring.” they explore the definition, in a sense, educating the audience. Later, you see one of the characters drinking out of a red cup next to a red blanket, signaling this character is the Red herring of the actual movie, in a sneaky, yet clever way. Most would think that’s a reach, but on this level of production, these items were strategically placed. Another example of subliminal hints lay in the double meaning of dialogue (including the title of the film itself), which most is revealed in a flashback scene (which I felt they could’ve done a little better).
Overall, this movie has potential. As some might figure out the killers before the film wants you to, the real question is, if you watch the movie a second time, did the film stay honest enough to allow the killers to be convincingly revealed? Or, did it feel like a bunch of cheap tricks until the writers decided “umm… eeny, meeny, miny, moe, YOU be the killer, let’s finish this show.” Only a second time viewing will tell.