Saturday 20 August 2022

Movie Review: The Weekend Away (2022)

A mystery thriller, The Weekend Away carries potential for a decent whodunnit with an array of suspects, but disintegrates into a sloppy final act.

London-based new mom Beth (Leighton Meester) flies to Croatia for a weekend getaway with her vivacious best friend Kate (Christina Wolfe), who recently ended a relationship with boyfriend Jay. After meeting taxi driver Zain (Ziad Bakri), a Syrian immigrant, and AirBnB host Sebastian, who is a bit creepy, Beth reveals to Kate that the passion has seeped out of her marriage to Rob (Luke Norris). The two friends then go out for a night of partying.

At a noisy nightclub Kate insists they flirt with a couple of guys. The next morning Beth wakes up at the AirBnB with only patchy memories of the night before. Kate is nowhere to be found. Beth seeks help from Zain and tries to file a missing persons report with police officers Pavic and Kovac, but they don't seem too keen to get involved. An increasingly frantic Beth is drawn into a complex affair.

Mixing a woman in a strange land, a missing person mystery, and a who-can-be-trusted puzzle, The Weekend Away is assembled from familiar but still sturdy pieces. Director Kim Farrant and writer Sarah Alderson, adapting her own novel, almost succeed in delivering a not-bad suspense thriller. Leighton Meester puts in a good shift, Ziad Bakri injects taxi driver Zain with plenty of soul, and the attractive Croatian setting provides an intriguing backdrop. The suspects of course all have something to hide, and secrets about petty thefts, wild personalities, spiked drinks, illicit affairs, and criminal connections are revealed at a good clip. As Beth finds herself becoming a suspect in her best friend's disappearance, she uncovers tasty video evidence, and the scene appears set for a good climax.

Unfortunately, the plot decides to takes a bad turn and pushes the previously just barely credible coincidences towards breathlessly silly running-around-and-falling-down antics. The script abandons discourse for dizziness, and the threatened cerebral showdowns never materialize. A final and way-too-late twist clumsily bayonets a wounded premise. The Weekend End Away is a fun trip ruined in the run-in.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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