Daniel Espinosa, Universal Pictures, 2012
Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Robert Patrick, Sam Shepard, Liam Cunningham and Brendan Gleeson.
Genre: Action, Crime, Mystery.
Question: Do you like action packed movies?
Well, Safe House might be the exact movie for you. However, there wasn't much more to the film, which was a disappointment since it stars one of our greatest actors, Denzel Washington, and a decent actor on his own right, Ryan Reynolds.
I know, I know. This review cuts to the bone a little bit, but I found myself sitting in the full theatre on opening day confused. Not with the number of people in the theatre but why such a predictable story-line was produced with some top-notch actors. And let me put it this way - one person left after about twenty minutes and four people left with about ten minutes to go in the film. I have never walked out of a movie, turned one off but never walked out.
Back to my question: Do you like action packed movies? Well, if you do, and can put aside the predictable story, then I say watch Safe House because it is nearly non-stop action. I am not accustom to watching Mr. Washington in such a physical role, and he did a decent job as a rouge CIA agent on the run, but I suppose I prefer his more cerebral roles. He can manipulate anyone and their actions usually with his words or facial expressions; and he had some of that in Safe House. However, most of the film was filled with car chases, men beating the crap out of one another and gun fights.
Now there is nothing wrong with a movie loaded with non-stop action sequences, do not misunderstand, but the Safe House preview displayed a different movie in my mind. I thought it would have more depth. Once the film started it was sort of obvious, though, that either the film-maker was inexperienced or perhaps they wanted to make the film in a Jason Bourne-style. One thing wrong with that is that Jason Bourne is an interesting, complex character that you want to know more about; however, neither the rouge CIA agent (Washington) or the CIA agent manning the safe house (Reynolds) were not developed enough to care about.
With all that said, the acting was still pretty good. Seriously, did you think you would ever read that Denzel Washington did a bad job? He simply cannot, unfortunately, the script was just not up to his acting caliber. Shame.
My favorite thing: Let me think on that for a bit....oh wait, there was a scene where Denzel Washington's character walks across the hallway and what he did and how he did it made me grin. It's brief but I wasn't expecting it.
My least favorite thing: That the person behind me was overly vocal when all the actions scenes went on. Annoying.
Length: 115 minutes
Review: 3 out of 10