It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Man, am I glad I knew nothing about "A Perfect Getaway" going in. There are two things Hollywood can’t resist in making a trailer: showing the best jokes in a comedy and revealing the secrets of thrillers. Oops, did I say “thriller”? If you see ads on TV, I suppose you already knew that, but I didn’t, and on the basis of the film’s opening minutes, I thought this was a comedy. Honest.
So here’s a thriller that worked for me. I didn’t see revelations approaching, because I didn’t expect any. At one point in the film, I wondered about something, and then thought, nahhh, couldn’t be. Could be.
The movie is about two couples and a suspicious third couple. The two main couples are Cliff and Cydney, honeymooners in Hawaii, and Nick and Gina, hikers. They meet on a difficult wilderness trail on the beautiful island of Kauai. The trail is spotted with signs warning of narrow paths, steep drops, sudden rains and falling rocks. I love warnings about falling rocks. How do you avoid them? The Hawaii Park Service is famous for its helpful signs. My favorite is: Caution: Lava flow.
Cliff and Cydney (Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich) are burdened with half the contents of an outdoor store for their couple of days of camping. Nick and Gina (Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez) travel lighter; indeed, the first time we see Nick, he’s only carrying a canteen, although later he produces a tent and a hunting bow. The third couple (Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth) are hitchhikers; she’s friendly, he sends out bad vibes to both of the other men.