Published on April 27th, 2012 | by Greg0
Safe: Uncompromising Action
Jason Statham isn’t subtle. In his best roles, like those in the Transporter, Crank, or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, he can be minimalist, graceful, restrained- but rarely subtle. And in his latest movie, it’s clear that the film was based around his abilities, limitations, and it ends up working out quite well for all involved- including the audience, who gets to see precisely what they sign up for. The plot doesn’t make much sense, but the setup is fun. The MacGuffin this time around is a Chinese girl with a knack for numbers, highly sought after by multiple factions since she is the only one who has memorized a ridiculously silly but valuable number.
Make sure that you’re ready to set aside your disbelief as you enter the movie ‘Safe’. Crooked cops take on Russian mobsters and Chinese triads in a battle to see who can singlehandedly bring New York to a halt with sheer gumption (not to mention plenty of violence to bystanders). Surprisingly, you actually care about the two major characters, and Statham’s Luke Wright has a decent back story built up, far more than is typical or even necessary. And Mei (Catherine Chan) pulls off her debut role like a champ, which makes it a compelling show. On the brink of suicide, Luke is a dead man walking, ruining the lives of anyone he befriends, when he comes across the girl on the run. Car chases and a particularly explosive scene in a hotel ensue, and there are plenty of moments where the audience can’t help but clap, cheer, or raise they eyebrows and moan “oooo” in unison.
Yes, there are some wooden lines. But there are some funny moments as well, and some clever cinematography. It’s an action film, not a treatise, and we didn’t come out feeling particularly enlightened- but we certainly enjoyed this fairly ‘Safe’ ride. In theaters today, widely.