Taken solely from an action angle, “Safe House” is a safe and pleasant action movie with a few memorable action scenes. However, the relatively big talent pool that this movie carries is arguably wasted on a run of the mill script of a second grade spy thriller movie that we’ve all had seen before.
Led by Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, a setup that, *wrongly* reminds me to “Training Day,” this movie had a huge talent pool that includes Vera Farmiga (having heard virtually nothing about this movie beforehand, I was eagerly surprised to see her name flashes across the screen), and Brendan Gleeson (although to be quite honest, for me, he is a “that guy” actor whom I recognized but had to actively looking for his actual name). However, their screen presence are limited to only inform us a backdrop story to the leading characters.
It’s probably due to the quality of the theater I’m watching this movie at. Sounds were loud (in a good way), crisp, and very appropriate for a decent action movie. And there’s this car chase sequence at the first act of the movie when our leading duo met each other for the first time. The scene was, for me, and I’m willing to bet that it was the case for many others as well, the highlight of this movie. Unfortunately, the whole story, is a stale rehash of a same old formula that won’t surprise anyone. Not necessarily a bad script, but it was a rather weak, uninspiring, and more fit to a second grade spy thriller movie. I wonder how it had attracted these many big names to sign on it in the first place. Probably a good check.
Credits due where the credits are due, though. All in all, it was a decent action movie with some memorable moments that were thrilling enough to wake me long enough. The latter part is far more inferior than the earlier part though, and it proves as a challenge for me to stay interested for the whole duration of the movie. Especially, given
that there’s no surprise on which destination the movie is eventually headed.
Denzel Washington breeze through his role like a pro tennis player up for a set against a hobbyist tennis player. He is a professional, though, and therefore if he is bored, he didn’t show it. But I’m pretty sure he does bored. I mean, this role is practically made for him and I could easily imagine him strolling casually into the set, briefly scanned the script, took his scene with a precision of a brain surgeon, without breaking a single sweat. Ryan Reynolds is definitely not Ethan Hawke and he is largely just “meh,” as he wont to do in his movies of late. It’s a shame, really, because I have been rooting for him for quite some time, but his performance is more or less stayed at the same level. Check “Buried” for what, in my opinion, is his best performance thus far. The rest, talented as they are, as I was saying above, is no more but to merely provide verbal informations about our main characters’ background story. It is a waste.
One last note. I didn’t recognize Robert Patrick. And that, I think, is actually a good thing.