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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - A Perfect Getaway




And what A Perfect Getaway it was, to have nothing better to do than sit around at home and watch this film. By the way, I do have a life outside reviewing movies; I just tend to lean much of the preoccupations of my life towards the arts culture. All in due time though of course. Anyway, here we have A Perfect Getaway, a psychological thriller written and directed by David Twohy of Pitch Black and The Chronicles Of Riddick fame. In A Perfect Getaway, mild-mannered newlyweds Cydney and Cliff, played by Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn respectively, go on their honeymoon to Hawaii. However, in the neighbouring island of Honolulu, a murder has been committed by a man and a woman, and during the course their journey, meet two different couples, who may or may not have committed the murders. Of course, being a "psychological thriller" it must play around with our minds a bit, and play with audience expectations and perceptions. To start with what is good about it, the film is shot well. The film is very crisp in the shots showing off the magisterial beauty of Hawaii, with blindingly bright colours and what have you. Also, the film is suitably grimy and gritty when it needs to be, being a thriller, there are scenes of running about, and unlike the shaky-cam syndrome, which I am glad to see I have not seen in a while, you are still able to see what is going on whilst a sense of realism is given to the scenes. David Twohy directs with a very concise style, and clearly knows how to shoot a film well. Finally, you cannot help but like Steve Zahn. A genuinely underrated actor, he plays the role of Cliff really well, providing the film with occasions of light humour and also providing the audience someone you can identify with for a time. Oh, and also, the twist is quite smart, although I do feel that what had preceded the twist would have made the twist work far better, bringing on to the problems with the film. For starters, as a film it is more or less a nuts-and-bolts thriller that doesn't try to be anything much, so it's not exactly a good start whenever you are making a film for the sake of it. Also, now I do think Milla Jovovich can act, but unfortunately, despite being what I would say is probably the emotional "heart" of the film, she hams it up so poorly. Her acting is decidedly wooden and sour, making you think why in god's name Steve Zahn's character would want to marry her. The script is also a poor work. A very half-assed and lazy effort in my opinion, the characters are poorly written and two-dimensional, even after the twist, which is obviously meant to make the characters seem more complex than they really are. I won't lie here folks, I'm not having a great time reviewing this movie. At least with an absolutely dreadful movie you have more to say, so I'm just going to be taking wee chips at this movie, so please don't accuse me of writing a rubbish review whenever I have already told you I am going to do so. With regards to Timothy Olyphant, why is he trying to play Bill Paxton? A slightly mad and manic Iraq war veteran with a Texas accent. Coincidentally, Olyphant was born in Honolulu himself, so if you wanted someone to be manic with a Texas accent, why not get Bill Paxton? So what if he is too old, it would make more sense than this movie altogether! Structurally the film is all off-kilter. The amount of genre-hopping and lack of consistency that the film has is unbelievable. Between romance, horror, thriller, psychological thriller, action-adventure, satire et al, this film does not know whether it is coming or going. Finally, the twist if anything just seems to make the film worse than it already is, changing the movie for the worse. For starters, it completely ridicules the audiences intelligence by spending about ten minutes explaining everything to us that we have already noticed as strange or startling throughout the film. Excuse my language, but its like exposition for retards. It is a stupid montage trying to explain everything, although I an over-stylised manner as though to say, "Hey, look how smart we are, fooled you there!" Hey, any audience is not that stupid to have it rubbed in our face you fools. Also, the film is ridiculously over-stylised after this. The use of drugs in the film is a big plot hole. Question? If they were using drugs throughout the film, then why did it only go all HD and shaky after the twist was revealed? Finalement, why the gratuitous use of slo-mo. I mean come on, is it really necessary? It's like you're trying to make up for all the populist nonsense that you didn't touch in the last two acts. In conclusion, while not an altogether horrible movie, it is very poor suffering from a dreadful script and one of the worst deviations of any sort of plot in the final act I have seen in years. At least when Quentin Tarantino goes mad, it's only in relatively short bursts. Here, it encompasses an entire act, taking away from the film as a whole.

The Thin White Dude’s Prognosis – 3.7/10

The Thin White Dude’s Self-Diagnosis - Cross

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