“A Perfect Getaway” & “G.I. Joe”
In “A Perfect Getaway,” the viewer is invited into the utter
realism of a honeymooning couple realizing that their perfect Hawaiian
vacation is suddenly going south. In
“G.I. Joe,” the viewer is invited into the utter fantasy of a couple of
elite soldiers who are seemingly indestructible.
And they have a sense of humor.
What little lightheartedness exists at the beginning of “A Perfect
Getaway” quickly melts into suspicion, mistrust, dread, then horrifying
personal violence. All the
violence in “G.I.Joe” is bloodless.
Plenty of anonymous military and para-military guys get blown away,
but we don’t know them, anyway, and they just disappear from the screen
like in some video game. The
characters we care about (played by Channing Tatum and Sienna Miller) are
both people of violence, but seem to be mortal enemies.
Except that we quickly learn that they used to be an item, and still
have feelings for each other, and somehow we are led to root for them as a
couple at the same time we want for the good guys to save the world from
certain destruction and for the bad guys to be at least neutralized, along
with their dastardly weapons. And
wouldn’t it be even better if they repented?
There’s no repentance in “A Perfect Getaway,” but there is
plenty of deception about who the bad guys are and then, once their identity
is discovered, there’s no remorse, it’s only a question of who’s going
to survive. Yes, there are plot
twists in both, but neither ending could be called unexpected.
What keeps both movies afloat is the enlistment of accomplished
actors to play shallow roles. What
could have been completely cardboard-ish turns out to feel like it has some
depth. Sure “G.I. Joe”
borrows liberally from the “Star Wars” saga, as well as other scenarios
that juxtapose saving the world and saving your own soul.
“G.I. Joe” will probably appeal to very young males, because of
all the action sequences, and “A
Perfect Getaway” is going to struggle to find any niche audience (too
violent to be a chick flick, too gruesome for the older crowd who are
sitting in the next theater watching “Julia and Julie”).
Both are lightweight summer movies that can’t withstand too much
scrutiny, but both display a modicum of suspense, decent acting, and
competent production. Popcorn
movies could do a lot worse.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace