Super-Serb Milla Jovovich and chunky little Steve Zahn (that’s new, serious Steve Zahn, not the former doofus version) are ostensibly a pair of love-struck newly-weds on Honeymoon in Hawaii. It’s A Perfect Getaway. They take a hiking trail to a remote part of one of the islands, falling in with an Iraq war vet and his almost-fiancee plus a pair of somewhat scary hitchhikers along the way. And its the scary that does it. Because a man and a woman have reportedly viciously murdered another pair of newly-weds back in Honolulu…..we just don’t know who.
So, A Perfect Getaway is a perfectly serviceable little thriller, particularly if you haven’t seen the trailer and aren’t expecting any of the twists and turns. Milla’s pretty good, Steve Zahn has (somewhat unnervingly) become really rather, how can I say this? smokin’, in his old age, and it’s also got Chris Hemsworth AND Timmy Olyphant, so there’s eye candy galore. And as for the Hawaii locations…..
And again here’s a twist. Because for all the times that Hawaii has stood in for Vietnam, Costa Rica, the Pacific, Africa, yadda yadda yadda, here’s one where Puerto Rico stands in for Hawaii. The climactic beach scene was actually filmed at the enigmatic Aguadilla in Puerto Rico (though the cave is actually found in Jamaica.) Ah, the magic of the Movies.
As a Film Commissioner, I only ever went on set about three times (always too busy, and besides, you’re kind of in the way……) and when I did it was usually part of the whole dog-and-pony show, trying to impress upon legislators just how many jobs were being created by the production. One of those set visits was to Catch and Release, a dull little tale set in Boulder, Colorado (but mostly filmed in Vancouver) about a woman whose fiance is killed on the way to the wedding, and who subsequently falls for the dead guy’s best friend. The best friend was skinny Timmy Olyphant, who’d never really impressed me much previously but was, I have to grudgingly admit, absolutely spectacular in person.
I mention this because we saw Hitman last night. (OK, so you can clearly tell I’m on a roll when it comes to dodgy movies at the moment; we’ve really been packin’ ’em in recently.)
Hitman is based on that Playstation game, so there’s a lot of running up corridors looking over the top of someone’s head; the plot is basically gun-heavy and irony-light. Tim is bald, too, which is an unfortunate look. But I have to say I was quite impressed by some of the production values; it has the look and feel of a much more substantial film, and the sound track is reminiscent of the Bourne movies. So not too dreadful, all in all.
Hitman is set in St. Petersburg and Istanbul, but it’s filmed predominately in Bulgaria. Surprise surprise, though, the production’s second unit shot in Cape Town. Who knew? I’m now wracking my brains, trying to recall exactly which bits might have been shot here (the Niger scenes perhaps??……) and wishing I’d been paying a little more attention……