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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“Based on the video game” is always a bad sign for a movie, but Hitman is actually not bad at all, made watchable principally by Timothy Olyphant, who invests the bald headed, barcoded assassin named 47 with some sorely needed charisma, humor and a hint of some depth, which you don’t ordinarily get in these kinds of movies. It’s also directed with a refreshing minimum of flash by Xavier Gens, who instead borrows a lot from the Jason Bourne playbook. In fact, Hitman is like a Bourne film with its globetrotting and digital readouts announcing locations, though it’s minus a lot of the brains, and adds on quite a bit more blood and nudity. As for the plot, 47 finds himself double-crossed and on the run from seemingly everyone. Along for the ride is a Russian woman, Nika, played by Olga Kurylenko, whom 47 rescues from white slavery and eventually befriends, against his instincts. Kurylenko is an appealing newcomer, and is another reason Hitman remains watchable. (Unsurprisingly, she’s in the forthcoming James Bond movie, too.) Yes, there are a lot of silly things in the movie, not least of which is his appearance: For an assassin described as a “ghost,” he’s got a pretty distinctive look which hardly allows him to just blend into a crowd. Those things aside, Hitman is actually a pretty decent action film, so I’m giving it two monkeys, though if you’re not a fan of action movies, and definitely not a fan of video game adaptations, then you’ll want to adjust the rating down to three monkeys or so.

MONKEY RATING: TWO (BALD HEADED, BARCODED) MONKEYS

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