Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Ryan Reynolds has finally left his Van Wilder roots behind as he and Denzel struck espionage silver in Safe House.
I say silver because although Reynolds created a believable CIA agent aura, he’s still no Jason Bourne.
Denzel on the other hand was predictably phenomenal as the enigmatic and extremely dangerous Tobin Frost the ex-CIA double agent that drives the film.
Although the CIA double-crossing conspiracy film genre has been milked harder than any of us feel comfortable with Safe House packs enough star power, shoot-outs and spy mystique to earn a solid B/B+.
If you sat down and really thought about the plot of this film you would realize that it’s predictable as all hell, but when actually watching the star power and loud noises help you to forget about all that.
Reynolds is a rookie CIA agent (if there is such a thing) stationed in Cape Town, South Africa when disavowed wanted man and ebony box office magician Denzel Washington lands in his lap.
What ensues is like a hybrid of Training Day and The Bourne Ultimatum.
That’s really the best way to describe it. Denzel does his thing just like always, Reynolds shows that he’s got some chops as he sheds a few tears and kicks a little ass.
The most rewarding aspect of the film is the sort of begrudging mentor-like relationship that develops between Reynolds and Washington in the film.
For the most part the film remains somewhat on the superficial side of entertainment (car chases, spy intrigue etc.) but the director chose to delve a bit deeper when it came to the relationship between the two stars.
Although director Daniel Espinosa made his A-list debut with this film he did a very solid job handling both his actors and the spy-film context, which can become convoluted or just plain boring if your not careful.
The runtime of 115 minutes gives the film adequate time to develop but doesn’t leave you running for the door when the credits roll like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the like.
The main success of the film is in moderation. It had all the raw materials to make a solid flick and Espinosa did a great job stepping aside and letting the story tell itself.
When it comes down to it the film delivers what it says it will. Excellent actors in a high budget environment with some high caliber action and the added bonus of some character development make the film a solid Saturday night watch.
If you are fan of either actor it’s a must see, if you’re a fan of action your gonna see it anyway, and if your bored then you should certainly consider seeing Safe House.