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Safe House

February 12, 2012

Tobin Frost: Remember rule number one: you are responsible for your house guest. I’m your house guest.

Within every R-rated action movie, there falls impending qualities, and Safe House has quite a bit. It’s not that I had a total hatred towards the film, I just felt that it had a premise which could have been labored to a greater extent. Safe House is gratifying for a few reasons: the well-done action sequences, scattershot editing, as well as the fitting bromance between actors Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, who manage to bring some fun into what would otherwise be a reasonably dull flick. However, Safe House includes enough flashy editing and fine sequences that keep the viewer entertained, which left me satisfied to an extent where I do not have to fully despise the film. 

It’s been quite hard wrapping my mind around this film. I’ve actually spent a few hours with writers block, where I decided to keep this review relatively short. Safe House didn’t leave me with a whole lot to say, which is surprising, considering my anticipation for this particular film. I guess I was caught by that extremely addictive song featured in all of the trailers, and Denzel Washington giving the audience his signature evil smile. Ryan Reynolds is handsome… so he has something going for him. 

I kid of course, I’ve actually been a fan of Reynolds’ work since his brilliant performance in Adventureland, and he’s proven himself to be a fitting action star after his vastly underrated performance in last years awful Green Lantern (Reynolds was the only redeeming aspect of the film itself, IMO). If we’re talking about Denzel Washington; that’s a whole other story. Washington is the motherload when it comes to badassery. Have you EVEN SEEN American Gangster?! So, you can assume my excitement going into this. 

It turns out, the film is dry in many spots. It is not as if anything was awful about the dry moments, it just had little to no originality to it. To my surprise, it felt a bit like Eagle Eye, only Denzel Washington’s character is the Eagle Eye computer and a much, MUCH handsomer Shia Labeouf. Now, I realize that may not be the best film to use in comparison, yet was constantly running through my mind as I attempted to process my thoughts pertaining to the film. Take the soccer game sequence for example: [spoilers ahead] what Denzel’s character did was incredibly predictable, therefore, ruining any originality or surprise of the scene, which ultimately ruined it for me. 

However, some aspects do work quite well here. The chase scene between Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington’s characters pitted against the thugs was quite exhilarating. It was shot with solid dexterity, makes the right cuts, and literally puts the viewer into the fight. 

Listen, I liked Safe House. I only wish that it hadn’t been so uneven. 

Safe House: 3 out of 5

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