A Safe Bet at the Box Office - A review of Safe
A by-the-numbers Jason Statham movie here with decent action but a less-than-respectable plot.
Okay, I know that if you go to the theaters to see a Jason Statham movie, you aren't expecting a rom-com or updating of a Shakespeare tale.
No, you're going for the action. And action fans will not be disappointed.
Statham delivers in his usual manner, complete with intense fight sequences, the obligatory gunfight and fast driving, not to mention the off-the-cuff quips and jibes that most action heroes have become world famous for.
But that doesn't a great film make. You still need a comelling plot and this film is sorely lacking one and that leaves "Safe" somewhat out in the cold when it comes to great action adventure movies.
Here, Statham plays an ex-cop who befriends an orphaned Chinese girl who has a gift for memorizing long sequences of numbers.
There are Chinese and Russian gangs after the information she holds and neither will stop for anything unless they can get their hands on that information.
Of course there are also rogue cops involved and even the city's mayor (Chris Sarandon, in a majorly downplayed characterization) wants a piece of the action.
When it comes to battle sequences and fights, Statham will deliver exactly what is expected of him. Complete with monotone softly spoken delivery, he has become the epitome of the modern action hero. Would someone give this man a personality, please?
But the real disappointment here is the girl, Mei, played by newcomer Catherine Chan. I know it's difficult to find decent actresses of that age to play this type of part, but it would have been nice if the producers looked harder. I've seen three-day-old lunches that inspire more emotion than this girl delivered.
At some point, I had to stop counting bullets and bodies and just try to concentrate on the plot, which is thin at best. But then again, I suspect the fans that are going to this movie aren't really concerned overall about the plot. As long as they pile the bodies high, there might be a worthwhile second viewing. NOT!
If all you're looking to see is an incredibly violent film where the majority of the cast ends up in body bags, then this film is for you. If you want your action tempered with a real story, though, this movie is not a safe bet.
I give "Safe" 2-1/2 out 5 stars.