Because they're usually so badly made, B-movie thrillers rarely merit more than a chuckle and a roll of the eyes, but with A Perfect Getaway, writer-director David Twohy (Pitch Black) strikes the proper balance between the genre reverence for and a loopy subversion of the film's "terrorized romantic couple" formula. The couple in question—nerdy screenwriter Cliff (Steve Zahn) and wife Cydney (Milla Jovovich)—have just arrived in Kauai, Hawaii, for their honeymoon when they hear about a recent murder of newlyweds on the secluded island. Suspecting a white-trash couple (Chris Hemsworth and Marley Shelton), they befriend another pair of lovebirds (Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez), who seem nice enough despite some ominous signals that they, too, could have homicidal tendencies. Twohy knows that his film's raison d'être is to lay out ridiculous red herrings while keeping us guessing as to who's targeting our heroes, but he finds inventive ways to mess with expectations, whether it's by supplying a bizarre backstory monologue or dishing dark humor at the unlikeliest of occasions. Rest assured, though, the story's Big Twist is reliably out-there, culminating in a no-holds-barred battle to the death that's craftier and more muscular than the norm. A Perfect Getaway is never great, but Twohy isn't aspiring for greatness—he's after gritty and lively and weird. And that's good enough.
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