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Movies I Love: The Underrated 2009 Thriller A Perfect Getaway

July 5, 2015

Perfect Getaway movie poster

You gotta get the details right. Otherwise we’re just making another craptastic movie.

With this sentence Timothy Olyphant’s character sums up the film. Perfect Getaway is fantastic B-movie that looks beautiful and is fully self-aware. It knows what it is and has no problem letting the audience in on the joke. A perfect example of this is an exchange between Milla Jovovich and a passing hiker:

Milla: It’s only three miles to the beach?

Hiker: Yeah. but lots and twists and turns ahead.

Perfect Getaway tells the story of 6 hikers (3 couples) who are trekking through Hawaii. When they are on the Kauai trail they learn about a honeymooning couple that was murdered at the nearby island Oahu. Suspicions arise, blue steel glances are shared and it all leads to a twist ending that you didn’t see coming. Watching the film a second time is especially rewarding because you realize how layered the performances are. You pick up on little nuances and realize A Perfect Getaway sets up all the puzzle pieces on the hike. You also realize that Timothy Olyphant is probably the only person on the planet who can make this hat look cool.

Timothy Olyphant Perfect Getaway hat

Timothy Olyphant, Kielle Sanchez, Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn play well off each other and all have moments to shine. Sanchez and Jovovich handle the action well and they make for totally believable action stars. Sanchez especially shines as she carries the brunt of the running, falling, climbing and more running. Olyphant oozes charm and danger as a self-described “American Jedi” who is really hard to kill. A bulked up Steve Zahn ditches the doof persona and gives his best performance since Joy Ride (Random aside. People love Joy Ride…I totally forgot about that). 

Perfect Getaway cast

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Director/Writer David Twohy (Pitch Black, Riddick) uses his locations well and lets the camera linger on the beautiful Hawaiian coast. I remember thinking APG would be a pleasant distraction but I was totally caught off guard by how great it all looks. There are shots that drop your jaw and make you reevaluate your expectations. It goes off the rails at the end and there is a scene with four male hikers that sorta crushes my soul. I’d like to go into more detail but as Roger Ebert stated “Man, am I glad I knew nothing about “A Perfect Getaway” going in.”

Did I mention Chris Hemsworth makes a pre-Thor appearance as a guy named Kale(?).

Chris Hemsworth Perfect Getaway

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I love movies like A Perfect Getaway because they are better than they have any right to be. It is nowhere on the level of Hitchcock but what is? This is a movie that doesn’t insult the viewer, gives us something new and is very rewatchable. It is a B-movie that relishes the genre and lets the Hawaiian coast speak for itself. It is a well-shot and thought out little thing that simply wants to tell an original story.

 

 

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2015 7:11 am

    Will have to give this a watch as your review makes it sound very good. Loved that line about Olyphant rocking that hat.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      July 5, 2015 11:31 am

      Do! I also thought this movie was FANTASTIC. Great performances by all backing a cool story that develops well. Intense and creepy at times, exciting like an adventure movie at others.

  2. July 5, 2015 11:17 am

    I had completely forgotten about this movie…loved it!

    • July 5, 2015 4:55 pm

      Me too! Watched it the other day and remembered how much I like it. Way better than it had any right to be.

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