Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez
Cliff: Not that me isn’t my favorite subject, but can we talk about something else for a while?
A couple honeymooning in Hawaii hears about some murders that took place recently on another island and start to wonder if the couple they’re hiking with might be the killers.
This is not a groundbreaking movie, and it’s not going to be winning any awards, but I thought it was a pretty good time. From the title and the initial set up, it seems like it’s going to be one of these torture movies, like Hostel maybe, but it ends up being a bit more cerebral than that. It was fun watching the verbal and mental games the characters play with each other as they’re all suspecting each other of being the killers who have been stalking the Hawaiian islands.
All the actors do a good job, and the characters are all likable and watchable, but I think Tim Olyphant really steals the show as Nick. He’s entertaining every time he’s on the screen, and you’re never sure if you want to like him or if you should suspect that he’s a psychopath. Kiele Sanchez, who I only knew as Nikki from Lost (guess she likes filming things in Hawaii), is better than I expected as well. Sure, she’s easy on the eyes, but she turns in a compelling performance as well.
As for the story, it’s somewhat routine, but the fun is in guessing who the villains are. There’s really only a few possibilities, but, of course, the filmmakers keep tossing conflicting clues at the audience to constantly steer them in different directions of thought. While the end sort of seems like a bit of a cheat, it does seem to logically work out, but a long sequence of flashbacks is required in order to really explain everything. That sequence was a bit too long, but not terrible.
Naturally, it degenerates into a sequence of strong violence at the end. I guess that’s the stuff people really want to see. Despite that by-the-numbers finale, it’s an enjoyable ride up to that point.
The don’t talk to strangers thing is applicable even in Hawaii.
10 – 1.8 for the by-the-numbers, violent finale – 1 because some of it feels like a bit of a cheat or that it doesn’t entirely make sense = 7.2