Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Perfect Getaway (2009) 3 of 4

** this review contains spoilers **

This is a pretty good movie, but it's the kind of movie that's hard to enjoy these days, not because of the movie itself but because of our (I'll be nice) "information society."  When it was released, I saw a review -- I want to say on TV -- and the reviewer said that the film isn't horror but "more of a thriller with a really big twist."
As Key and Peele have pointed out, saying a movie has a "big twist" is itself a spoiler.  It ruins the movie: even if you can't guess the twist, you sit there waiting and wondering.  In this case, I'm movie-savvy enough to know that "big twist" must mean that Steve Zahn's character is himself the killer.  I've seen a lot of movies, including High Tension -- what else could it be?
The Perfect Getaway is so spoiler-prone that it's hard to see how most of its target audience could ever see the film without first having it spoiled for them.  At least it provided a working Hawaiian vacation for all concerned, which may have been more important for the actors and for writer-director David Twohy.  Come to think of it, this would've been a good reason to be more skeptical when the creators of Lost told us we'd get answers that didn't involve aliens or purgatory.
With that said, A Perfect Getaway held my attention, which is a lot, considering.  It has good acting, and the script is pretty good with some Scream-type meta-moments, without spreading it too thick.  Timothy Olyphant does most of the heavy-lifting here, setting a tone of black humor as an ex-Special Forces guy who acts as the "red snapper," as he puts it.
On a more serious note, and a sign of our anxious times, the film doesn't just establish that Zahn's character's a mad-dog killer, it establishes that Olyphant's combat vet/adrenaline junkie isn't one.  

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