A romantic vacation hiking the wilds of Hawaii is not in the cards for one couple in the somewhat engrossing thriller “A Perfect Getaway.”
Since there are three couples on that trail, the trick to this not-as-tricky-as-you’d-hope mystery is figuring out which couples are potential victims and which are murderers. It has only one conventionally tricky way the mystery can resolve itself. That doesn’t mean the finale of this David Twohy (“Pitch Black”) film isn’t a lulu.
Cliff and Cydney (Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich) are newlyweds spending their honeymoon trekking on Kauai. He’s fresh out of film school. The people they meet aren’t exactly charming company. There’s the rough-hewn Kale and Cleo (Chris Hemsworth and Marley Shelton), scary hitchhikers who take an instant dislike to them. Trail-mates Nick and Gina (Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez) are chatty free spirits. But Nick’s got a million stories about his violent “Special Forces” past and tips for Cliff’s script.
Olyphant (“Hitman”) is making a nice career for himself out of his spooky eyes and bad-guy vibe. He has lots of fun with Nick, all swagger and bluff, a regular “Man vs. Wild.”
But out there in the Hawaiian boondocks, word creeps in about murders in Honolulu, and Cliff and Cydney start to panic. Jovovich, who has morphed from skinny model into the butt-kicker of the “Resident Evil” flicks, gives Cydney girlish touches, playing naive to the hilt.
It’s too bad Twohy relied on that student screenwriter’s crutch — a screenwriter character in a movie about thriller cliches — and typed himself into a corner. The setting and characters deserve more riveting situations than this imperfect “Getaway” gives them.