21
Aug 09

A Perfect Getaway – An Imperfect Threeway

FT1 comment • 203 views

A hint to all screenwriters out there. If in doubt, and unless it it necessary, try not to make any of your characters a screenwriter. Not only is it a little bit too self aggrandising, but the next thing that follows is that your screenwriter character will start talking about writing a film. Which can only come across as an ironic commentary on the film they are in. Really, really don’t ever let them talk about second act twists.

David Twohy, of Pitch Black and Riddick fame, has committed this sin in excess in his small budget thriller A Perfect Getaway. In it we have three couples wandering around an isolated part of Hawaii, who are latterly made aware of the existence of another murderous couple on the loose. The film then becomes a race against time where the following points become very clear:

a) Its bound to be one of the three couples.
b) Three is not enough to make a compelling whodunnit
c) Especially when the red herring couple are thrown out too early
d) Mobile phone reception is conveniently patchy in Hawaii

In stressing his second act twist, Twohy already makes even more clear something obvious to the viewers. That if there are three couples, groomed by the film in order of edgy violence then the least likely, BECOMES the more likely by virtue of the genre. As such it doesn’t have to make any sense whodunnit, or why, which Twohy fails to understand. When it gets to the third act chase and violence its pretty good. But it takes so long getting there that the only consolation in the countryside. Which is pretty nice. So A Perfect Getaway is not perfect. Also shouldn’t it be The Perfect Getaway? The definite article would make it sound much better.

(Also the vague chance that the murderous couple will come across the cast of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and kill them is also a wee bit tempting.)

Comments

  1. 1
    Dean Van Nguyen on 24 Aug 2009 #

    ‘Whodunnits’ are tricky to pull off well and this film does have it’s clunky moments, but I still thought it’s smarter than most Horror films out there. The dialogue is snappy, the characters had depth and it was nice to see a movie in that genre out in the bright sunshine for a change.

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