A Movie Review on Safe (2012)
I am a huge fan of Jason Statham, and the movies he does. Yes, I understand that he's not the best actor out there, nor are his movies the award types, but they are always a blast to watch. I can help but love a good ol' beat em up action flick and he provides the bests of this kind. Jason plays the same character in each of movies, save for some slight differences, and for me, it never gets old. Many people hate actors who end up getting type-cast, playing the same roles over and over again (Adam Sandler) but Statham provides endless amounts of entertainment in each role, making it easy to look beyond the repetitive action hero that he plays. In Safe Statham plays a character similar to his other roles but the movie is so darn fun and entertaining that you just shrug off the fact that you've seen this character before.
Safe follows young girl Mei, played by Catherine Chan, who is a genius and possess the ability of photographic memory. She is kidnapped from China by the Triads, adopted by one of them, and used to keep track of sales figures for the shops in NYC's Chinatown. When the leader of the Triads comes to New York he asks Mei to remember a very long, very important number and while on her way to retrieve a second number she is kidnapped by the Russians who seek the number she knows. Escaping their clutches, she is saved by Luke Wright, played by Jason Statham, whose life was reduced to shambles by the same people after Mei. Now, with the Triads, Russians, and Police after Mei, and the number she possess, Wright must protect the girl at all costs and use the number, a combination to a safe, to outsmart those who are after it.
While the story is nothing that we haven't seen before, it really keeps the story moving and provides some intelligent moments in between all the shooting and fighting. There are a lot of moving parts, between the Triads, Russians, Police, Mei and Wright, with the story being able to juggle them with ease as they weave in and out of each other. When the Mayor and his goon are thrown into the mix it begins to feel like too much but again, the story does a good job at weaving everything together that's not confusing for the viewer. The story is far from original, and far from being as good as many others, but it's done quite well.
The action is the real highlight of this movie, providing almost all the fun and entertainment as we watch Statham shoot and fight through groups of Triads and Russians. Here Statham racks up the biggest body count of his career. One of the best fight sequences in the movie involve him on a subway train, facing off against 6-7 Russians. It really sets the tone, as far as action in the movie goes, and also shows his characters selflessness by saving the girl. His hand to hand combat scenes provide more than a few cringe worthy moments throughout the film, but are definitely the highlight of the action scenes.
For a Jason Statham action flick, good acting is not something anyone should be looking for. With that being said, Catherine Chan as Mei does a wonderful job playing this scared, but very intelligent, very brave little girl. Statham as Wright does a decent job, pretty much playing the same character that he always does. The rest of the cast does a mediocre job, nothing that really stands out as being good or terrible, just mediocre.
Safe is a fun, entertaining action flick that provides some really well done shootouts and fight scenes, while providing some smarts in between all the action. I found it to be really well done and it lands itself as one of my favorite Jason Statham films so far. Highly recommended.
Directed by Boaz Yakin
Starring Jason Statham, Catherine Chen, Robert John Blake, and James Hong.
Rated R. Runtime: 94 Minutes.