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Safe House Review
3 1/2 Stars
Yet again we have another generic and predictable action film involving the CIA. The plot to Safe House is one of those recycled and reused stories that we get every year. However, despite the story everything else in the movie is great.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa and staring Ryan Reynolds as Matt Weston as well as Denzel Washington as Tobin Frost, this film really has the acting right. I always thought that Ryan Reynolds is one of the best rising stars in the industry, after all he was the only redeeming quality in the train wreak movie Green Lantern and he was fantastic in Buried as well, and this film only further proves my point. And Denzel Washington is Denzel Washington, you already know that he is one of the greatest actors of all time and in this film Washington is a total badass! Besides the two leads, there is also Brendan Gleeson and Vera Farmiga who play high level employees of the CIA. Unfortunately, the character Farmiga plays is the most pointless character that I have ever seen in a film recently. She literally had one purpose, which I can’t spoil, but when she says what she has to say that’s it her character has no more relevance anymore – she is just there. On the plus side these people are the best part of the film, not their characters but the actors.
See the whole issue with the film lies within the script and story. Everything about it is over used; the characters and plot have all been shown in other films in some cases better but most of the time worse. The plot is simple, Matt Weston is a CIA agent located in Cape Town, South Africa and he is in charge of guarding a safe house there. He never gets to experience any of the thrills that he thinks are expected to be part of the job description until Tobin Frost shows up. Frost is a rogue CIA agent who discovers that someone wants him dead because he has information that can ruin a specific peoples lives and careers. He is taken into custody and brought to the safe house that Weston is in charge of and is tortured. The people who are after him break into the safe house; shoot up the place and Weston with Frost escape. From this point on in pretty much all action and no plot/character development.
I have a bigger issue with the fact that Weston and Frost are both introduced as these really interesting people in the first 15 minutes and for the remaining hour and 45 minutes their characters go nowhere. Plus the editing is some areas of the film is just noticeably bad and makes it obvious that the director filmed a few version of the same scene and the editor just put them together without caring about the changes involved.
Enough with what’s wrong in the film and focus on the good. Besides the actors the other great part of the film is its action. The action is really exhilarating and intense. It looks and sounds like people are actually getting hurt because the sound and execution is spot on. It has little bit of the shaky cam in some scenes so it gets a little confusing but other than that it’s great. There is even that one mandatory slow-mo scene of two guys falling out a window.
All in all, the movie is entertaining. You get great acting and great action. Washington steals every scene he’s in and Reynolds can hold his own around him. Just don’t go to see the movie and expect there to be depth. Fortunately, Safe House is a better generic action film than most others are.