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"A Perfect Getaway"; review by Gary Chew

"A Perfect Getaway"

GARY CHEW/Sacramento

For anyone not wishing to get away from real fear and violence in their lives (like the recent massacre in a workout gym in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,) "A Perfect Getaway" is just what it says it is.

Three TV reality show-type couples show up in a remote area of an island in the Hawaiian archipelago. One pair is on honeymoon, the second couple looks like they've just escaped from a cult or coven and are out to take no prisoners, and couple number three (?), just a cool, former Special Ops Army guy and his single girlfriend who like to skinny dip in the cool lagoons I've heard populate our 50th state. You know, the one where President Obama was born.

Word has just come out in the local news as the six converge in a hiking area of the island that another honeymooning couple has been murdered elsewhere in Hawaii and their assailing couple has yet to be apprehended. After the film lets us get to know this sextet a little, "A Perfect Getaway,"--- all glorious in breathtaking Hawaiian vistas---gets its game on and the grunting begins.

What couple dun'it? Is it Cliff and Cydney (Steve Zahn; Milla Jovovich), Nick and Gina (Timothy Olyphant; Kiele Sanchez) or Kale and Cleo (Chris Hemsworth; Marly Shelton)? Each of the six is 30ish, in good shape, attractive, wears not much clothing, with two of the pairs wanting to have a good time, while the weird, slack-jawed guy and hyped-up gal….well, we're not sure what they want, but the news about the horrific killings certainly makes a movie-goin' fella wonder---if you know what I mean.

Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich

The guys are edgy and occasionally bug their eyes out a little like serial killers do. And two of the gals are edgy, hip and loose-acting, while the new bride is sort of dipsy-doodle but hot too. That's Jovovich, of course. In the look-a-like department, Kiele Sanchez has facial features that say she could be related to Mary Kay Place, and Ms. Sanchez uses a voice drawl for her character that's also kind of Mary Kayish.

"A Perfect Getaway" is director/writer David Twohy's latest effort and has been slotted in the horror/thriller film genre. But I'm more inclined to slide "Getaway" into the horror porno file, and like several pornographic horror movies I've seen, this flick cheats.

I'm going to be kind here and not say anything further about each specific couple. So those folks who really want to see this baby don't have to worry about spoilers reading subsequent paragraphs. (So nice I am.)

"Getaway" cheats the audience as one pair of players is directed to act as characters they really aren't in the picture. This is the old try-fooling-the-audience-even-if-it-makes-the-story-look-dumb trick. Unfortunately, this doesn't work every time. Let me explain that a little further and more abstrusely.

The film goes absurd when these two actors are together in a one-on-one conversation in-character as characters they really aren't. Why would they act like the characters they really aren't unless or until they're in front or earshot of the 4 innocent characters---thus sustaining their ruse? I guess Twohy never asked himself that question when writing the script or shooting the film. (Duh.)

Such moviemaking makes me angry, but not nearly so much as everyone in "Getaway" seems to be. In fleeting glimpses, the pornography is about puncture wounds and gaping flesh that produce bright red blood. Then there are the human teeth---extracted---and in a small mint tin.

Yet, the R-rated "Getaway" is so wussy, in terms of showing naked flesh, appropriate editing and camera angles are always in play to allow only a PG-13 gander at nude swimmers on and in a blue lagoon. The R is just for blood and language. (I wonder if anyone has ever considered developing a rating system to indicate how smart or dumb a movie is. The possibilities for what letters to use for that seem endless.

Although I hung in there all the way, after about 30 minutes of this bloody gobbler, I felt like I really needed to getaway, for sure--- but not to any isolated Reality TV show island.

David Twohy also missed on correctly titling his stab at recreational mayhem. He should've called it, "Manson in Paradise."

"A Perfect Getaway" official site.

Opens Friday, 8/7 at the Hollywood Promenade Palace 12.

Check Yahoo Movies-Tulsa for theaters and times.

Gary Chew can be reached at garychew@comcast.net.

Copyright © 2009, Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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