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A Perfect Getaway
Genre Thriller
Year: 2009

I watch pretty much anything with Milla Jovovich... After first watching her as Lilli in Return to Blue Lagoon, she went on to star in cult favourite, Dazed & Confused and The Fifth Element as Leeloo - I was hooked, who wasn't? I even managed to stay loyal to her during the Joan of Arc phase, when her ex-husband Luc Besson... another film favourite (different reasons) got her to play the lead with a supporting cast including: John Malkovich and Dustin Hoffman. That was her make-or-break performance and let's just say... she took "break a leg" a little too literally.

Joan of Arc may have been a big budget misfire, but she surprised everyone a few years later with a revealing renaissance performance as Alice in Resident Evil, possibly the best video game adaptation franchise ever! Jovovich has made a name for herself despite all the flack from critics and her over-reliance on beauty, physique and that foreign accent, kind of like Arnie... okay, maybe not. One thing we can say about Milla is that she's star material.

Perhaps the model/actress turn actress/model makeover didn't work quite so well as the Cameron Diaz's of this world, but Jovovich still has loads of intrigue, poise and sex appeal. That's probably why she was cast in A Perfect Getaway opposite nice guy, Steve Zahn and the rough-and-ready, Timothy Olyphant. It's a decent ensemble as far as thrillers go with a lead trio to match Dead Calm, backed by Kiele Sanchez, Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth. The cast aren't only Baywatch good-looking, they're armed with a pool of acting talent to rival most jet stream jacuzzis. A Perfect Getaway is just the sort of fun summer travel escapism that you'd want to fill the gap... like a hammock between two coconut trees. 

It's a fairly typical set up as Cliff (Zahn) and Cydney (Jovovich), a newly wed couple are on honeymoon in Hawaii and meet up with another young holiday-making couple, Nick (Olyphant) and Gina (Sanchez). After the couples hear reports of a pair of murdering psychopaths running amok on the island (Natural Born Killers: Hawaii?), they opt for safety in numbers as the situation gradually deteriorates... dum dum dum.

A Perfect Getaway has loads of potential... which is spoiled by bad weather and The Chronicles of Riddick writer-director, David Twohy. Hawaii is all about the waves, the flowers and the sunshine... and unfortunately the beautiful seascapes are rare with overcast weather dampening the location shooting. Perhaps Twohy's intention was to show the environment as harsh with a storm ready to break... fine, but the location's natural beauty is totally under-utilised. A Perfect Getaway feels a little slapdash, possibly due to time constraints or a new direction in the editing room. There's an inconsistent feel to A Perfect Getaway, which blisters with intense action at one moment and then loses itself by going off at a tangent in backtracking the story at another.

It's unfortunate for a film of such great potential to miss the mark, but it does. Zahn and Olyphant's charm hold the film together quite valiantly, but it just comes across as a bit lazy with one too many plot holes and enough twists-and-turns to make your head spin. What started as a good idea with a name cast, a decent writer-director and beautiful filming location, just didn't add up. I'm guessing the cast and crew had a really good holiday... I mean come on, it's Hawaii! At best, A Perfect Getaway will appease anyone looking for a light bit of forgettable action/thriller holiday fluff - at worst, you'll be replaying yacht cabin scenes from Dead Calm in your head.

The bottom line: Disappointing.


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