Friday, February 10, 2012

SAFE HOUSE: A Throwaway Thriller Not Even Worth The Price Of A Matinee

SAFE HOUSE (Dir. Daniel Espinosa, 2012)

Although he’s been making movies since the early ‘90s, it still feels like Ryan Reynolds is the new kid on the block. Especially here as a frantic rookie who is paired with the stoical pro Denzel Washington in this incredibly forgetful formulaic film.

The formula can be traced back to TRAINING DAY, and was recently retreaded in UNSTOPPABLE: the cool-as-ice Washington schools a wet-behind-the-ears white pretty boy through unfolding chaos.

This time, Washington is a CIA agent gone rogue sporting teased out hair and a goatee who is apprehended and placed in a safe house in Africa under Reynolds’ supervision. Washington is water boarded by CIA operatives (including Robert Patrick), but he withstands the torture, not giving up the secret file they’re after. Yep, that’s the film’s MacGuffin – a data file from an MI6 officialcontaining names of all the rogue agents in the world, that, of course, everybody is after.

So here we go with another ‘guess who’s the mole’ scenario, and only if you turn your brain completely off will you not figure it out.

After Washington escapes, there’s a scene in which he shaves and cuts his hair then flashes his trademark grin for the first time in the film. It’s such a self conscious movie star moment that I couldn’t help laughing.

However, the rest of the film rarely amuses. It’s a grainy mess of poorly-shot and horribly edited fight scenes and chases with some of the shakiest shaky-cam action I’ve ever seen.

Not only are Reynolds and Washington wasted in all this numbing noise, so are Brendan Gleason (doing a coarse but convincing American accent), Vera Farmiga (in a control-room role much like her character’s in SOURCE CODE), and Sam Shepherd as a stern CIA director – a part he could play in his sleep.

A throwaway thriller that’s not even worth the price of a matinee (or a second run bargain price for that matter), SAFE HOUSE is aptly named because it’s a sad shelter in which a couple of fine actors play it safe and take no chances with their careers.

More later...


risioja said...

Very interesting blog, thanks for good moovies.

sara said...

nice movie

deller1990 said...

Nice blog. Agree about Reynolds I forget he's been around forever. I'm a big fan of pretty much everything Denzel Washington's in so I still think I'll give it a go.

Anonymous said...

safe house online will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time! I haven't seen an action-thriller this good since the Bourne trilogy! Ryan Reynolds delivers a performance that tops every other movie he's ever been in.

Anonymous said...

If you think this movie is crap what do you consider good? Seems to me like your jealous of their acting? Get a life, faggot