This post contains some vague spoilers for A Perfect Getaway.
David Twohy's A Perfect Getaway was not destined for commercial glory. Pitched as a generic tropical-set actioner, with no big-name stars and little marketing muscle behind it, its middling box office performance was a foregone conclusion. Last weekend's $5.7 million result seemed pretty much right.
Depending on your point of view, this is either fitting or tragic. Because David Twohy is one of the most fascinating writers and directors working in genre film today. Hollywood has plenty of talented technical craftsmen -- filmmakers who can make an action movie crackle. But it has precious few people who are consistently doing interesting things with action films, thrillers, science-fiction and horror. Twohy is not content to deliver generically competent entertainment. There's always a twist.
The man is best known for the Riddick duology -- Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. I like each very much in its own right, but they're really intriguing when viewed together. Pitch Black is a rousing piece of sci-fi horror Alien-style. Riddick then took the first film's mythology and radically changed its scale. A small, contained story seamlessly became something huge -- something on the order of epic fantasy. It was a great trick, and Riddick is some of the decade's most underappreciated sci-fi.