“First time in Croatia?” asks handsome taxi driver Zain (Ziad Bakri).
As soon as Beth (Leighton Meester) answers in the affirmative, we know that she’s in trouble. If you’ve seen enough thrillers, you know that any trip to another country is going to lead to trouble. Beth may think that she’s just going to be spending a week or two with her wild best friend, Kate (Christina Wolfe), but we know that something bad is going to down. And the minute that Kate insists that Beth dress up and go to a club with her, we know that someone is going to end up missing.
The next morning, Beth wakes up with a hangover, a cluttered villa, and an absent best friend. Where is Kate? Kate and Beth were supposed to go on bicycle tour but now, Kate is nowhere to be found! More than one person suggests that maybe she didn’t want to do the whole cycling thing. I don’t blame her. You go, Kate! Don’t let your friend guilt you into doing something that lame!
However, Beth starts to have flashbacks to the night at the bar. It turns out that Beth is almost as much of a lightweight as I am when it comes to drinking because a glass of wine has totally wrecked her memory. When Kate’s landlord mentions that Kate brought two men back to the villa with them, Beth starts to think that something terrible has happened to Kate! The police soon agree with her but they think that Beth is the culprit!
Teaming up with Zain, Beth starts to investigate on her own. Her husband (Luke Norris) is not happy to learn that, while he’s in London with their baby, his wife is running around Croatia with a sensitive and widowed taxi driver, Needless to say, it soon turns out that just about everyone involved has a secret that they’re trying to hide.
The Weekend Away is the latest Netflix original thriller. It starts out on a good note, with Kate and Beth catching up on their lives in Croatia. Leighton Meester and Christina Wolfe are convincing as old friends who have followed different life paths and Croatia itself looks both inviting and ominous at the same time. Unfortunately, once Kate disappears, the film gets a bit uneven and some of the characters do some things that don’t really make sense and the actors themselves sometimes seem to be struggling to find a way to make their dialogue sound credible. The film starts with a lot of promise but the mystery itself turn out to not be as interesting as one might hope. That’s my long-winded way of saying that you’ll figure out what happened long before anyone else in the film does.
Again, it’s an uneven film but I do like to focus on the positive so I will say that the film was nice to look at. The scenes in the club were well-directed and captured both the chaos and the fun of discovering an exciting city for the first time. Leighton Meester and Christina Wolfe were convincing as friends and Luke Norris kept you guessing as Beth’s husband. It’s the Netflix equivalent of fast food. It’s the type of film that you enjoy for what it is and then you forget about it a few hours later.
Terrific review – too bad they couldn’t take a strong premise and stay focused!
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