Safe Review

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J

ason Statham is one of those actors who suffers so harshly from typecasting that it would be impossible to take him seriously in a Nicholas Sparks romantic comedy, or Lars von Trier art house indie film that is a metaphor life, the universe and everything. So when Statham was cast in a new action film, from the producer of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds (which featured heavily in their marketing strategy); I do not exactly expect groundbreaking cinema. Despite my best endeavours to avoid films that Statham stars in, I was still intrigued by Safe; the new release from director Boris Yakin (not-so-fondly remembered from Hostel and Uptown Girls).

Jason Statham stars as Luke Wright: an ex-cop turned cage fighter who makes his living by taking a beating in the ring. Instead of feigning unconsciousness in the second round like his agent had hoped, he fights back and seriously annoys the wrong people. The Russian Mafia, making an example of Wright, murder his family and banish him from his old life resulting in nomadic lifestyle that sees him wandering from one homeless shelter to the next. In another part of New York, a frightened young Chinese girl named Mei (newcomer Catherine Chan) is being pursued by the same gangsters that killed Wright’s wife. With a lengthy number stored in her head, some of the biggest criminals in the city want to keep her alive to get their share of whatever the digits lead to. When Mei unexpectedly saves Wright’s life, he takes it upon himself to protect her no matter what.

Safe delivers fans of Statham’s work exactly what they want: action, bullets and dodgy accents. Although those of you who, like me, aren’t a fan of his work and the accompanying genre are bound to be disappointed. It has the same look and feel of similar films, conforming to terrible stereotypes at the same time (Asians are all good at maths; Russians are all underground gangsters; American are all police are easily bribed). The plot is contrived, character development poor and the climax is terribly predictable. Although I will readily admit I like a mindless action film on a Friday night, Safe was just totally uninspiring.

A tiresomely cliched contribution to the action genre, Safe is certainly not a film I’d recommend. Still, just because it’s not to my liking doesn’t mean that it will be completely devoid of fans: my better half quite enjoyed it, and he often has fantastic taste in movies. All I hope is that I’ll enjoy Jason Statham’s next endeavour, The Expendables 2, more than this; especially if he uses his own accent instead of adopting the terribly ludicrous American one he did for Luke Wright.

 

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8 Comments
  • Fernando Quintero
    May 8, 2012

    Loved your review, Amy! Harsh but honest. I heard from some Statham fans and they thought it was pretty entertaining. I’ll check it out when it opens here. My favorite Statham flick is The Bank Job. Have you seen it?

    • Amy
      May 9, 2012

      Thanks Fernando, I haven’t seen it, no. To be honest I’ve been put off a lot of his films by his presence. We’ve been watching Snatch on Netflix though which I’ve really been quite impressed by. I think I need to cut him some slack though ;)

      • Fernando Quintero
        May 9, 2012

        Yes, you should. I haven’t seen Snatch yet but I hear it’s good. I recommend The Bank Job. It’s very fun and looks great.

  • sati
    May 10, 2012

    It’s a shame about Statham, he really should team up with Guy Ritchie again, he has a good comedy talent and he is wasting himself in all of his recent films.

    • Amy
      May 10, 2012

      He really is, it’s a shame to see an actor with talent star in terrible films. I know everyone has bills to pay, but still!

  • Rob
    May 10, 2012

    I really enjoyed this film, I think Statham is a great actor but excels in action orientated films because he performs all his own stunts. Big respect for that.

    I would say it’s an above average film, but that’s all. I agree there’s a few clichés present but I feel the plot is no worse than Haywire from earlier this year and a lot better than Man on a Ledge!

  • Nostra
    June 7, 2012

    I normally love Statham movies, but was quite disappointed with this one. Like you state it was very uninspiring and I thought there just wasn’t enough action to keep me entertained.

    • Amy
      June 17, 2012

      Thanks for your comment, Nostra. This really didn’t inspire me to check out his previous films, unfortunately.

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