REVIEW: SAFE HOUSE
SYNOPSIS: Washington plays the CIA’s most dangerous traitor, who stuns the intelligence community when he surfaces in South Africa. When the safe house
to which he’s remanded is attacked by brutal mercenaries, a rookie (Reynolds) is forced to help him escape. As the masterful manipulator toys with his reluctant protégé, the young operative finds his morality tested and idealism shaken. Now, they must stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them dead.
Matt Weston: You're not gonna get in my head.
Tobin Frost: I am already in your head!
This movie might get in your head too. Although I’ve noticed mixed reactions to this flick, I thought it was pretty good. From the get go, you will feel a shiver down your spine from how cold this movie is. To say it is intense could be an understatement. It is fast paced too including some moments where there is little time to exhale. It is action packed and realistic with a fair amount of sophistication and intelligence. It will remind you a lot of the Bourne series only slightly less dramatic and impacting. Even so, there are quite a few “impacting” moments during this film that might make you jump off your seat. And just to keep you going on things other than action, the story also has a fair amount of twists via your standard double crosses, backstabs, and corruption. The premise for the movie is interesting and not exactly typical but the content on the other hand is the type of stuff we’ve already seen before only this time its Denzel and Ryan, and Cape Town, South Africa. Ah Denzel Washington, undoubtedly one of the best actors of our time. It is a joy to watch him work and he doesn’t disappoint with this role either. He practically makes the movie worth watching all by himself. So the fact that Ryan Reynolds nails his role also is icing on the cake. Who says Ryan can’t do a serious role? Those people should look again. You would imagine it difficult to keep up with Denzel in a movie like this but Ryan does a pretty good job at that. We also get bonuses in the form of Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, and a brief but potent role turned in by Ruben Blades.
So we have a solid cast, good action, intensity, thrills and spills, a decent story with twists, exotic locations, and cinematography that encompasses all of the above. As mentioned, this movie is not that bad at all, but it is not great and not flawless. What are the flaws you ask? It’s hard to put your finger on it but you will feel it as you watch. Maybe it’s a lack of depth or substance in the story, or it could be that the movie is choppy. Regardless, Director Daniel Espinosa has done a commendable job with this his biggest mainstream motion picture so far. If you didn’t know any better, you would think that Tony Scott directed this film because of its look and feel. Granted it doesn’t quite measure up to a Tony Scott film but its pretty close. Have you noticed a sharp increase in movies dealing with the CIA or some form of higher level law enforcement in recent motion picture history? Hmmm.
By Cine Marcos
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Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writer: David Guggenheim
Genre: Action Thriller
Duration: 1hr 55mins
Staring: Denzel Washington
Producer: Scott Stuber
Rating: R for strong violence throughout
February 10, 2012
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