Marcus Reviews Safe

29 Apr

Synopsis:

 A second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit, Luke Wright lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change…until the day he blows a rigged fight. Wanting to make an example of him, the Russian Mafia murders his family and banishes him from his life forever, leaving Luke to wander the streets of New York destitute, haunted by guilt, and tormented by the knowledge that he will always be watched, and anyone he develops a relationship with will also be killed.

But when he witnesses a frightened twelve-year-old Chinese girl, Mei, being pursued by the same gangsters who killed his wife, Luke impulsively jumps to action…and straight into the heart of a deadly high-stakes war.

 

What I Liked:

 I have to give many kudos to the director, Boaz Yakin, because the most impressive thing about Safe and the thing that sets it apart from alot of action movies is the innovative camerawork and editing in this movie. Due to the urgent and simple nature of the story it seems like they had more time to spend getting creative with their choices in angling, cutting and other things which resulted in a really unique viewing experience. It’s a bit hard to explain without seeing it for yourself but you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to if you do.

 

If you watch any recent movie with Jason Statham at the helm you essentially know what you’re getting yourself into. In this case though I got a little more than I expected due to the fact that Statham was actually forced to emote a bit in this movie. Usually Statham plays these almost superhuman, Wolverine-esque loner hard asses and while he does play a similar character in Safe, there’s some more depth here. He’s essentially just a down on his luck guy who get’s thrust into this crazy situation and reacts the only way that he knows how.

 

I’m almost certain that this is the first time that I’ve ever heard Statham play an American. He holds an accent pretty well, definitely much better than some people…(I’m looking at you Sam Worthington).

 

Jason Statham and Catherine Chan (Mei) had a surprising amount of on screen chemistry which really helped me overlook the random nature of their partnership. Their characters were portrayed as friends/accomplices instead of having a father/daughter relationship which was risky to attempt because if done wrong it’d come off seeming creepy but somehow they were able to pull it off and make it seem natural. If anything I’d compare their relationship to Jean Reno and Natalie Portman in The Professional.

 

As expected in a Statham flick the fight choreography was impressive but the action was more quick and relentless than you’re average action movie. Instead of having a flashy fight sequence, you’d see someone get disarmed immediately and quickly shot in the face which I personally thought was smart given the urgent nature of the story.

 

What I Didn’t Like:

There were a couple moments of obvious green screen and the final confrontation was a tad bit anti-climactic but aside from those minor gripes/nitpicks, there was nothing that I outright didn’t like about the movie.

 

Overall:

Safe is one of those movies that you go into essentially knowing what to expect and getting rewarded with a little extra bang for your buck. By all accounts it seems like your standard action thriller but the infectious/oddly adorable on screen relationship between Statham & Chan, surprisingly brutal & efficient fight choreography as well as some truly innovative camera work make Safe a bit of a pleasant surprise and put it a couple of notches above the norm. It won’t change your life but it’s a blast to experience and that’s all that really matters sometimes.

 

Rating: B

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