aperfectgetawayThe new movie from David Twohy, A Perfect Getaway, is a tidy little mystery that has a simple goal: To generate suspense and thrills and maybe even a couple of scares. The story focuses on a trio of couples (Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez, and Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth), who are all making their way along a 11 mile trail to an isolated Hawaiian island beach when they get news that there is a pair of serial killers targeting couples. The movie isn’t exactly Hitchcock, but it will keep audiences on their toes, guessing and guessing again, all the way up to the reveal, which is then carefully accounted for in a sequence that perhaps goes on too long. The final sequence that follows is effectively staged, with at least one good scare. There’s a fair bit of violence, but then it’s a movie about killers, so you have to expect at least some killin’. However, the violence is hardly horror film level. What makes the movie really work, part from Twohy’s clever scripting, are the performances, which are top notch for the most part. Jovovich and Olyphant in particular are good, with Olyphant once again showing he’s one of the most watchable, entertaining actors currently on the rise. A Perfect Getaway may not be a great movie, but it’s great fun for the most part, and isn’t that what summer movies are all about?

MONKEY RATING: TWO EVIL MONKEYS

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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Idiotic, cliched, wholly implausible and annoying hypocritical pastiche of Saw and The Silence Of The Lambs: A killer rigs Web sites so that his/her victims die faster and more horrific deaths the more hits the site gets. It’s supposed to be an indictment of Internet audiences who flock to sites depicting violence and horror, but then Untraceable doesn’t have any problem showing ITS audience copious gory violence and horror. But then it’s making a point, so that’s different, of course. In any case, anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the Internet and Internet security will be hooting and hollering at the screen the more ridiculous Untraceable gets, and boy, does it get pretty ridiculous. Especially choice moments include a scene where FBI agents get the news that they won’t be able to use the NSA’s “supercomputer” (singular, because it’s just one really big ass one) because “they don’t want anyone to know their capabilities.” Like aiding in the capture of criminals committing felonies, including murder and various cybercrimes, on an international stage? Yeah, you wouldn’t want it to get out that the NSA actually serves a function. Oh, and if you’re thinking Interpol then, well, apparently Interpol doesn’t exist in the Untraceable universe. However, the FBI superior officer that puts the kabosh on all the good ideas forwarded by the brilliant FBI detective heroine (Diane Lane) does exist in its dumb universe, saying things about the killer like, “Well, you don’t think he’d really do something like that, do you?” Duh! But then Lane plays the kind of FBI detective that has no problem keeping sensitive, unencrypted files on a wireless, apparently anti-virus program free home network, so there’s that. Anyway, you get the picture. Bad, bad movie. I was ready to shut it off at the 42 and the 60 minute marks, but I forced myself to finish it: You have an easier choice, as you can just choose not to watch it.

P.S. (And very mild spoiler!) If anyone can tell me what the hell the ending was supposed to be about, do let me know. And were 17 million people about to go to jail or what?

MONKEY RATING: FIVE MONKEYS WITH CHIM-CHIM IN A SUPERVISORY ROLE

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)