Monday, January 11, 2010
A Perfect Getaway (2009)
Quick Synopsis: Newlyweds go on honeymoon; try not to die.
Ever open that familiar red envelope and think to yourself, "When did I put this on my queue, much less close enough to the top that it would actually come?" History has proven that this is usually not a good sign, but I went ahead and viewed A Perfect Getaway anyhow. And frankly, I am torn. From its most base standard, the movie works. I wouldn't exactly call it a "white-knuckle thrill ride," or any other easily identifiable quote meant solely to get one's name on the DVD cover, but it did keep me modestly intrigued from beginning to end.
Performances are all solid (Steve Zahn continues his impressive streak of criminally underrated roles) and the writing is by and large, crisp, though I could have done without the self-referential nonsense. Characters discussing plot devices typically used in the type of movie they are in such as 'red herrings' and 'a twist at the end of Act II' serves little purpose but to highlight how by the numbers, first year film school project your script actually is. Speaking of the big reveal (that does, I might add, happen exactly where the end of Act II would be), and which is the moment of most contention for me, and look, I can usually be pretty forgiving with this kind of thing, what irks me is when there are prior scenes to the twist whose sole purpose it is to simply throw off the audience. This is lazy filmmaking, pure and simple. Honestly, I really can't go any further here without revealing the moment, so prepare yourselves, SPOILER: Angela has a penis, no, wait...Cliff and Cydney, our likeable every-couple who shortly were meant to become our heroes are, in actuality, the killers they have feared all along.
Now jump back to a pivotal scene where Cliff tells Cydney to pretend she has to use the bathroom so that they can walk off to a secluded spot to discuss why they think another couple may be the killers...why would this conversation ever happen? Now, some may argue that they were staying true to their characters and trying to give the impression that they suspected others therefore making themselves look innocent, but this was accomplished simply by them walking off alone to whisper in the dark. They literally could have discussed anything in that moment; the Crimean War, how anyone could ever justify listening to Coldplay, literally anything, but instead, in this intimate moment, they try to convince us, the audience to the movie, that they aren't the killers. I'm actually a little surprised Zahn didn't break the fourth wall and wink into the camera.
There really were some very good elements to this movie. It's a shame.
Also, Hawaii is quite beautiful.
As a feature film: 6/10
As a travelogue: 10/10