Kale is offended by Cliff’s obvious discomfort in his presence and refuses the ride. Later, Cliff and Cydney meet Nick (Timothy Olyphant, “Hitman“) on the trail. Nick spins unlikely stories of his prowess as a military special op, and the honeymooners are a little upset when they discover that he has a significant other waiting for him up ahead, Gina (Kiele Sanchez, “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium“). He comes in handy, however, when Kale and Cleo show up as if they were stalking Cliff and Cydney.
Of course, the clerk from the store, along with his girlfriend, also show up, and all four couples know, as do we, that a male and female pair of murderers is roaming around. Is it one of our couples or one we haven’t met yet?
It doesn’t sound like the most original concept in the world, because it isn’t, but writer/director David Twohy (“Chronicles of Riddick“) works the territory beautifully with a lengthy setup and a WTF finale that will have you arguing all the way home. Twohy’s real achievement is the way he drops hints and red herrings that shift your expectations and suspicions from couple to couple. The beauty part is that while he’s suckering you along his wilderness trail, he’s also telling you everything you need to know to beat the film to its conclusion.
The acting is better than you expect from this kind of hokum, even when it’s really good hokum. Jovovich will surprise anyone who knows her only as Alice from her zombie franchise, and Olyphant is becoming a real movie star. Zahn is a treasure, and the relationship between his character and Nick is wonderfully comic without being in the least funny.
This one is a keeper, one of the most enjoyable films of the summer and easily the smartest pure thriller in many summers.
Aloha, and watch your step.”Doug Bentin