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“Safe House” – Review (POSITIVE)

February 12, 2012

I’ll see anything Denzel Washington’s in; my closest friends know that about me! I’m a Denzel fan through and through, bad, good, or AMAZING! Denzel’s my boy! Ryan Reynolds on the other hand is a hit or miss for me. The problem with Reynolds is that he constantly plays these snarky/smart-ass/wise guys. Sometimes it’s acceptable, other times it’s just boring. So, I felt like having him pair up with such a high class actor that is Denzel, perhaps the pot would be stirred, and you know what? It did.

Matt Weston (Reynolds) is a CIA rookie whose job entails of manning a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa. When Tobin Frost (Washington), the CIA’s most wanted rogue agent, is captured and taken to Weston’s safe house things get interesting. During Frost’s interrogation, mercenaries who want Frost, because he has high alert information that could single handily compromise some important officials from all across the globe, overtake the safe house. Weston & Frost escape and must stay out of the gunmen’s sight until they can get to another safe house.

It’s a basic snatch and grab kind of movie. The story itself is somewhat basic good agent turned rogue kind of story. In some cases there’s a lot of predictability coming at the audiences. So, story wise there’s nothing special here, but what makes the movie good is the casting/pairing of Reynolds & Washington. Denzel continues to do what he does best; be cool & kick some major ass. Ryan finally becomes the mature adult we hoped he would and plays a very intense straight man in this film. He’s hard core, no holds bar, has no time for laughs kind of guy, and that was the most refreshing thing about this movie that I loved!

The movie is also lead by some perfected camera work thanks to action cinematographer vet, Oliver Wood. Wood is the man behind the entire Jason Bourne trilogy, so if you feel that this movie feels like a Bourne film, you know who thank. There’s some crafty editing styling’s at play here by Richard Pearson (“The Bourne Supremacy”), and if you know me, I’m always on the look out for some crafty editing. Swedish filmmaker, Daniel Espinosa makes his directing debut in America, and if I didn’t know any better I feel like he’s taking action movie lessons from the School of Tony Scott.

There’s not much to say really, “Safe House” is a decent action movie lead by high caliber actors. It’s got the feel of a summer popcorn flick; yet it’s been released in the dead of winter, go figure. It’s a great escapist action movie, and sometimes in this time of Oscar movies coming every which way, that’s all you really need on a Sunday afternoon.

GRADE: B+

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