There is a method employed by veteran whodunit fans trying to guess, well, who done it. First, eliminate any obvious bad guys or, as one character in A Perfect Getaway dubs them, the “red snappers” (herrings). Then, concentrate on whomever is least likely to have committed the crime. If the author is skilled enough, he or she will still manage to fool you. Sometimes, the butler really does do it.
I was able to guess whodunit in A Perfect Getaway, but not too early in the game. The movie is skillfully done, its Hawaiian scenery is breathtaking, and the actors are also easy on the eyes, so surprise endings didn’t matter all that much.
And yet, the brains behind A Perfect Getaway violate a cardinal rule of the “big reveal” school of filmmaking: After the clever twist is unveiled, the film goes on … and on … and on. It’s as if Agatha Christie had Hercule Poirot reveal the killer’s identity, and then devoted the next 25 pages to anticlimactic backstory. Grade: C+
Director: David Twohy Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovovich, Kiele Sanchez, Chris Hemsworth, Marley Shelton, Steve Zahn Release: 2009
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