DIR: Daniel Espinosa • WRI: David Guggenheim • PRO: Scott Stuber • DOP: Oliver Wood • ED: Richard Pearson • DES: Brigitte Broch • Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife Denzel Washington is an undisputed badass. From his role in Training Day, to his portrayal of a tormented bodyguard in Man on Fire, Denzel’s film career of badassery includes a long list of highlights such as tricking a young cop into smoking crack or sticking explosives up a bad man’s bottom.
So as one might imagine, Safe House does not see D.W., doing neurotic Woody Allen-esque monologues to camera, confessing his love to Katherine Heigl from a hot air balloon, nor does it see him learn deeply, poignant life lessons while caring for his estranged, infirmed mother. As an awesome 115 minutes adventure, Safe House delivers explosives, car chases and shoot-em-ups and some darn fine performances to boot.
Ryan Reynolds plays Matt Weston, a young and dashingly handsome American Agent stationed Capetown whose uneventful job it is to guard a CIA safe house. His frustratingly quiet routine is brought to an explosive end when rouge CIA traitor (and all-round badass) Tobin Frost turns himself in to a nearby American Consulate.
When ‘houseguest’ Tobin arrives on his doorstep, an ambush ensues leaving Matt the only agent left alive who can bring him in. As the cheeky yanks aren’t supposed to have a base in the area, Matt is forced to remain off the grid with his prisoner until head office (Brendan Gleeson and Vera Farmiga) can figure out a way to bring them in.
Overall the plot is strong and pacey. Also the unlikely budding bromance of two devilishly handsome male leads manages to squeeze in some lovely and unexpected emotional depth. So what if Safe House doesn’t break the mould when it comes to espionage(ish) action flicks – it certainly fills it nicely. A bit of a disclaimer though, those who suffer from seasickness would want to make sure they take their tablets beforehand; the jarring shaky-cam can get a bit much, especially during the action bits.
Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
Safe House is released on 24th February 2012