Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson
You may like this if you liked: Killer Elite (Gary McKendry, 2011), Smokin’ Aces (Joe Carnahan, 2006), any of the many films where Denzel Washington plays a smug know it all.
Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA operative who works in one of the CIA’s ‘Safe Houses’ based in Cape Town. He is desperate for promotion as nothing ever really happens there. However, one night Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) an ex CIA agents who has been on the run for ten years is brought in. That night the Safe House is attacked by a group of mercenaries and only Weston and Frost manage to escape. Weston is then placed under the responsibility of getting Frost to another Safe House while being pursued by groups of mercenaries. Before getting caught, Frost acquired a computer file from an MI6 agent with apparently very damaging information about some very senior Government officials in various countries. Of course Frost wants to escape from Weston and so begins a cat and mouse chase, not only between the two protagonists and the mysterious group of mercenaries after them, but Frost trying to elude Weston’s capture. While of course they are both trying to get to the bottom as to exactly who is after them.
There is certainly nothing new here in terms of story but Safe House works fine as an entertaining action film. The plot is very generic, and unfortunately fits very neatly into all stories of this genre and this leads to this film’s downfall as it becomes extremely predictable and the inevitable final show down is a bit of an anticlimax. There is however some great action set pieces that keep the story plodding along quite nicely. The main positive aspect of Safe House is the performances of the two leads; Ryan Reynolds has never been more likeable and certainly looks the part. Denzel is just Denzel, but no one does it as well as he does, and the two make a good double act and share some great on screen chemistry.
Safe House is very generic and predictable genre piece, but some good action sequences, good pacing and the natural charisma of the two leads make this a welcome addition to the action film collection