Efficient, Effective but Uninvolving, 17 August 2009
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Director David Twohy, who also wrote the screenplay, has writing credits of considerable distinction including hits such as Pitch Black, GI Jane and The Fugitive. Here he delivers a fast paced, neatly conceived story which would have looked good on paper and works well on the screen. A bit of a genre hybrid it plays to the slasher/ horror/ thriller markets without ever particularly committing to any of them.
The cinematography, filmed on location is Hawaii is simply stunning. Helipcopter shots provide a perfect excuse for those swooping panoramas which thrill, excite and delight in equal measure. The story unfolds around three couples and a mysterious murderous duo stalking the Island. A 97 minute running time is commendably tight, but the characters are offered as little more than stereotypes which devalues audience sympathies. There is a twist, which is effective, but genre aficionados will anticipate it because the options are so limited.
Twohy spends so much time planning for the “reveal” that when it comes we have little time to get alongside the real characters so that the last 20 minutes or so, whilst quite exciting, is also curiously uninvolving and soulless.Ironically, whilst he is happy to offer us the staple female nudity, the feisty female roles offer nothing in the way of damsels in distress.
So, a job well done within its own terms of reference, but nothing out of the ordinary, and, murders aside, a good advert for Hawaii’s spectacular coastline.