Safe Plays It Safe

Posted on May 21, 2012 by

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With Jason Statham’s latest action flick Safe, audiences find the genre’s go-to guy once again dishing out beatings at a fiendish pace with little regard to his own well-being.

Excessive violence is what people are paying the price of admission to see in a Statham movie, and there are plenty of dead bodies, bullets, and fight scenes to please its target audience. Yet, with all its overblown action, nothing goes any deeper than surface-level entertainment.

Luke Wright (Statham) is down and out, a homeless ex-cop who lives life under the scope of the Russian mob. Enter Mei, a Chinese girl who has an incredible head for numbers and can memorize any number sequence, including the combination to a safe holding 30 million dollars. This makes her a prize target for the Russian mob, the Chinese mob, and a couple of crooked cops.

The two meet up in a chance encounter in a subway station, where the Russian mob is pursuing Mei. Violence ensues as Statham takes it upon himself to protect the girl, even though he knows nothing about her. Shootouts in a hotel, a restaurant, and a night club all follow with similar outcomes. Very few surprises are thrown in, and the story gets less intriguing as the movie unfolds.

The relationship between Mei and her protector could have been a perfect way for director Boaz Yakin to jam unneeded emotional baggage into the film, but the brisk pace only allows a few intimate scenes between the two. There’s no time for Statham to take names, no need to flesh out characters or over-think the plot.

The ruthless violence depicted in Safe is enough to satisfy the most hardcore action seekers, but sophisticated moviegoers will only roll their eyes.

Safe is about as fun as a genre movie can be. It’s devilishly entertaining on its own merits, without pushing the envelope or even making you think twice.

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