When I first watched the trailer to Safe, a sense of deja vu damn near sent me to the brink of madness. There it was, yet another typical Jason Statham movie in which he punches and shoots his way through baddies in a movie, but somehow they managed to directly lift the plot from Bruce Willis vehicle Mercury Rising and get away with it! I mean, Statham and Willis are both bald and witty action stars who play outcast cops trying to redeem themselves by protecting a genius code breaking child from the likes of gangsters/corrupt government officials. The only difference is they traded an autistic kid for an Asian girl
So how will Safe fare up? Will it be better than Mercury Rising? I sure had hoped so, because of all the movies you can copy…Mercury Rising was a sh*t movie.
Director: Boaz Yakin
Release Date: April 27, 2012
In Safe, Jason Statham Luke Wright plays an ex MMA fighter/police officer/special operatives hitman whose wife has been just executed by the Russian mafia (I wish I was making this sh*t up). Instead of killing him, the mafia has sworn to kill anybody and everybody that tries to get close to Wright, may it be a landlord or someone asking for time on the street. With nowhere to go or talk to, Luke Wright (god that name is ridiculous) begins a downward spiral that eventually leads him to be homeless and suicidal. But when he sees Mei, a young girl who has the gift to calculate complex math problems and photographic memory,being chased by Triads, Russian Mafia and NYPD, it’s up to Luke Wright to keep her SAFE (hurr hurr hurr).
First and for most, as you can probably gauge, Safe is a Jason Statham movie. Not in the sense that it stars Jason Statham, but the fact that it is in essence a Jason movie. Minus a quintessential sex scene with an overly skinny white actress, this film is by and large every movie you’ve ever seen with Jason Statham in it post Snatch. He’s still the same smooth talking quip for every situation bad ass, only this time there’s a dash of self flagellation in his character. While the concept of a quick witted charming bad ass with suicidal tendencies might seem contradictory, allow me to once again remind you that THIS IS A JASON STATHAM MOVIE. In this film, he plays a homeless UFC Fighter who was formerly a special ops hitman kind of guy who was sent into sticky situations to take out the trash. If they would’ve slapped some tits on him and made his lower half a monster truck, this ridiculous notion of a character would cover everything wanted by the male demographic. But who cares? Much like most Jason Statham movies, Safe distracts you from the fact that it is completely devoid of meaning, and it does it well.
The action sequences in Safe are your run of the mill shoot/punch/car chase sequences, but what’s amazing is years after these same type of one man versus an army of gangsters sequences, they still manage to feel fun. You’re getting nothing special here, but what you’re getting is a tried and true formula that still manages to work. What I think makes Safe a tad more interesting is often times these fights are set in very public places, i.e. a four-star hotel or a night club. As so, not only do a lot of baddies die, but bystanders fall victim as well. Call me cynical or downright sociopathic, but it ups the ante a bit and makes the chaos that more enjoyable, if only a little.
At the end of the day, I can’t really recommend anybody see Safe. It’s not that it’s a bad movie … it’s just that it’s not very good either. Safe feels more like a checklist than it does an actual movie. To be that unmemorable or to just be an amalgam of other action movies and being seemingly complacent about it is not only something that takes effort, it takes balls. If it’s ever on or you’re just in the mood for atypical bad assery, then watch it. Just know that at the end of it, you’ll have gained no value from it whatsover and you’ve distracted yourself for two hours.
Also … Safe is totally better than Mercury Rising.That’s not really saying much, but it’s something.