Monday, 30 April 2012


If Jason Statham is starring in a film you know there will be guns - lots of guns. In that respect Safe doesn't disappoint. Where it does disappoint is in the lack of emotional development of the two main characters - Statham playing Luke Wright and Mei (Catherine Chan making her full-feature debut).

The story begins in the world of New Jersey cage fighting - but this is soon forgotten never to return. Throughout the film the character Wright is shown to be the only one with any moral fortitude. Having said that, his personal body count must enter three figures - so even that is relative!

The first half-an-hour or so of the film seems to offer three stories in parallel which suddenly click into interwoven synchronicity - all linked by Wright and Mei who are thrown together intermittently, in an unlikely pairing. There is a scene near the beginning which should evoke an affective response from viewers but Statham's coldness for me missed an opportunity. At the end of the film there is an endearing scene - the 80 minutes in between are devoid of emotional currency. It's a simple bloodfest.

The story is complex and is well handled by Director Boaz Yakin. It doesn't matter if the story focuses on the Chinese, the Russians or the Cops - they're all crooks. This film does little to bolster any sense of confidence in those elected to office and those who serve the public through that office. I won't say more for fear of spoiling the plot.

If you like gangster thrillers with lots of guns and blood, then this is a fine example of the genre. If organised crime, racketeering and fighting are not your thing, my advice is to avoid it. It is the only film on locally that I wanted to see (where is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen when you have the time?) and given that there are some theatres here with 20 screens, that's all a little disappointing. A solid film of its type - but it could have been a lot more. I'll give it 6.5/10.

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