Safe

PhotobucketJason Statham is a classic action hero. He’s England’s answer to Bruce Willis with less conversation and more muscle – like a combination of James Bond and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s got the British accent and can deliver an intelligent quip with savoir faire. Yet he still looks capable of handling himself like Jackie Chan. Safe is his current vehicle and once again it’s a serviceable thriller in the style of The Transporter. It certainly doesn’t push the boundaries of the genre, but you know exactly what to expect and you get what you pay for.

This time around he plays a mixed martial arts fighter who accidentally wins a fixed match he was supposed to lose. He has now incurred the anger of both the Russian Mafia and the crooked cops that bet against him. With his life at its lowest point, he’s just about to commit suicide.  At that moment he witnesses a frightened 12 year old Chinese girl being pursued by the very same Russian monsters who killed his family in retaliation. This sets a sequence of events in motion that will involve all the aforementioned groups as well as the Triads and high-level corrupt New York City politicians.

Safe is a movie where nothing is safe, including logic and reason, but damn if it isn’t fun. This is a lively film that seeks to entertain and that’s about it. Jason Statham is an effective tough guy and he’s quick with the clever wisecrack. He’s the obvious heir apparent to Arnold as king of the witty one liner. “Don’t lose sleep. He had it coming,” he tells a trainload of subway passengers after shooting a guy dead at point blank range. I must admit I also enjoyed seeing veteran actor James Hong as the head of the Chinese mafia. You may not recognize the name, but you definitely have seen him in something. He’s done a bazillion movies but probably best known for playing Lo Pan, the ancient sorcerer in Big Trouble in Little China. The fight scenes in Safe are kind of de rigueur for this sort of thing. They never really rise above the graphics of a good video game, but Jason Statham has plenty of charisma to keep things gripping. There’s enough creative twists and turns to elevate Jason Statham’s latest opus into a worthwhile diversion.

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17 Responses to “Safe”

  1. Oh yes, this was fun. Had my adrenaline going non stop. I know what I’m getting with his movies. So I enjoy them for what they are.

  2. Nice review. Safe looks very fun. Jason Statham is very reliable. My favroite from his is “The Bank Job”.

  3. Nice. I agree Statham is a classic, but this doesn’t look all that interesting to me. Looks like a quotidian actioner.

  4. Glad to hear it’s just like his other movies – in a good way. You always know what to expect from the packaging on the box with Jason Statham movies, but are rarely dissapointed.

  5. moviewriting Says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of Jason Statham, I don’t know if it’s because of the films he’s associated with or not. I’m fully prepared to give this a go, and if it’s as fun as you say it is, Mark, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. Great review!

  6. Hey Mark! Great review as always! As I tweeted to you earlier, Jason Statham has become a very bankable actor for successful low-budget action flicks that end up being a lot more superior than their budget necessarily would indicate. To illustrate my point I refer you to “The Transporter” films (which you did as well), Deathrace, “War” & the “Crank” films. Nonsensical and simple in concept but so much fun for a quiet night in!!

    I feel sorry that they are releasing this so close to the Avengers…maybe it would have had a longer run in the cinema – I hope one day he gets a great gig that really makes him a household name (and no – I don’t think the Expendables is that great a gig as fun as it is!)

    • In the U.S. where The Avengers wasn’t released until May 4th (a week after everywhere else in the world) it stood a better chance. I saw it after all, although I am a fan. He has had a couple of great gigs. The Bank Job and The Italian Job were both high quality well made films. I can highly recommend them.

  7. martin250 Says:

    Aside from liking what your review says, I am also more interested in this now considering you rated it higher than Safe House. And Safe House has Denzel in it.

    • Denzel has won an Academy Award. I won’t deny his acting talent, but these films aren’t about great performances. They’re about well paced action. Safe trumps Safe House in this regard.

  8. Just wanted to stop by and let you know about my summer movie list poll:
    http://themoviefreakblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/summer-movie-list/

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