Safe House

July 13, 2012 at 1:13 am Leave a comment

Safe House is a spy thriller with Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington. That alone was enough to sell me on the movie. I like both of these actors, even in less than great movies they have been in. Green Lantern comes to mind. John Q was one movie that I didn’t care for but still liked Denzel in the movie. So putting these two together should be an instant hit. And for the most part, it was.

Denzel plays Tobin Frost, an asset the CIA has been hunting for quite some time. Ryan Reynolds plays Matt Weston, a wet behind the ears rookie who protects a safe house in South Africa. He leads a double life with his girlfriend in a romance subplot that takes up very little of the movie. About the only relevance it has is that Frost uses Matt’s relationship as a way to relate to him and bring the characters together. Frost has been where Matt is. Through the course of the story, Frost sees some potential in Matt and shares with him the horrible truth about deep corruption within all of the world’s intelligence agencies. I’d offer more than that but this is really a movie you should see for yourself and I’d like to avoid spoilers in good movies. What I will say is that the plot is deep, with a lot of questions regarding who is on who’s side. Who is corrupt and who isn’t? And most importantly, who can Matt trust while he is on the run with Frost? It has all of the twists, turns, and surprises of an excellent spy thriller.

The action scenes may be the strongest part of this movie. The action and fight scenes all felt mostly realistic. There is one brutal fight scene with Ryan Reynolds and another character guarding a safe house that looked like a real life brawl. It reminded me a lot of the alley fight scene in They Live but with more blood. The car chases and gun fights were all well done and engaging. If they used any computer effects in the movie, I would have a hard time tell you at what points they did. It seemed to me like the action was mostly organic. Fast moving, hard hitting, and a lot of fun are just a few things I could say about the action sequences in this movie. Even if you don’t care for the story, I think you will at least enjoy the action in the movie.

Technically, it was a very well done movie. The editing flowed with the story, keeping action scenes moving quickly and drawing you into the talking scenes. I could say the same for their choices in camera shots and angles. The cinematography was well done. You often felt like you were in a grimy, foreign country. The color palette used really made you feel like you were in a dirty place where danger could be around any corner and there was no one you could trust. I really felt like the look of the movie serviced the story.

There was one moment I had to laugh at and I really wonder what inspired it. Ryan Reynolds has to go to a soccer stadium to get a package, telling him where the nearest safe house is. Denzel decides its a good time to take off and makes a break for it, running for freedom. Through the course of events, a security guard at the soccer game starts firing his gun at Ryan Reynolds. Of course, he can’t hit Ryan Reynolds but he does mow down several innocent bystanders. I would just love to ask the writer what inspired that minor character who is a loose cannon security guard that recklessly shoots several innocent in the pursuit of one guy who is chasing after another guy. Seemed like an over-reaction to me and I am still laughing about it now.

I highly recommend this movie. While it’s not my favorite movie, Safe House is better than Road House. They pretty much did everything right and it was a very rewarding movie watching experience. I think most movie goers will find something they can enjoy about this film.

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