This is the first time in a few weeks that we have been to see a film that was actually released on that weekend. I'll be honest I was quite intrigued to see Safe House. One because it looked like it had mindless action, which is always great for a Saturday night cinema trip. Two because most films that Mr Denzel Washington stars in is generally pretty good. This film is one of these two things, and if you read the blurb I wrote at the top you will know which one.
It is a completely loud, over the top action fest. This isn't a bad thing but it can be debated as to whether it is a particularly good thing. The film is fun. It is mind less. Do not see this film if you are expecting anything with any real depth or character background. It is a very typical corruption, rogue agent picture and you will have guessed the outcome right at the beginning, especially if you are a keen movie goer. I recommend you only see this movie if you want to be entertained by action.
If I'm honest I believe Ryan Reynolds outshone Mr Washington here. You can really see and feel confusion and sadness in Ryan's face. Denzel on the other hand starts very promising. The trailers show him as a calm, cool villain with an afro and a goattee, and at this point he is good, however halfway through he has to change his identity, obviously being on the run, and all of a sudden he has changed from Tobin Frost to Denzel Washington. His character seemed to lose a lot of intrigue and I didn't care for him much after that. Vera Farmiga's character is pointless and I have no idea why she even bothered to take the role, and also Brendan Gleeson and Sam Shepherd are very underused. Shame really for such good actors.
The action in the film is great. There is a hell of a lot of it, despite most of it not making any sense mind you, and it is shot fairly well. The shaky camera is distracting in the talking scenes but in the action scenes it puts you right in the frame. The action is very loud and very frantic. My problem with the action though is that it wasn't very believable. If they were trying to take out a target I couldn't imagine them just firing off loads of rounds at random people and instead would be trying to do it in a subtle way to not draw attention, but here we have people armed with machine guns blowing the hell out of a poor shanty town on the outskirts of Johannesburg. I don't understand how six people turn up with huge guns to kill one person. It was all very set up for entertainment only, and the script really fell flat on the top acting talent that was on show.
I was entertained by this film but not for it being a good film. It isn't one I would make a point of seeing again but it was one that I enjoyed for two hours. It does become very silly with lots of guns ablazing and it is as a woman shouted out after laughing during an intense scene 'ridiculous', but hey at least some of the chases will keep you entertained.
Pros: The action scenes are fast and frantic and Ryan Reynolds puts in a shift.
Cons: Top class actors wasted on pointless characters and a fairly predictable story.
6 / 10
Films of 2012 so far:
1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7 / 10
2. The Grey 7 / 10
3. Safe House 6 /10
4. Man On A Ledge 5 / 10
5. J. Edgar 4.5 / 10
6. The Iron Lady 4.5 / 10
7. Shame 4 / 10
8. Chronicle 4 / 10