A rookie CIA operative goes on the run with a rogue former intelligence officer after a South African safe house comes under attack by heavily armed mercenaries. Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent just waiting for the perfect opportunity to prove himself. But that's no easy task when you've been cooped up in an empty Cape Town safe house for a whole year. Weston realizes that a prime opportunity is headed his way, however, when he learns that former agent Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) has been captured after nearly a decade on the run. Frost is about to become Weston's one and only guest at the safe house, and the fledgling agent is determined to handle the situation like a true professional. But by selling U.S. secrets to countries like North Korea, Frost has made more than his fair share of enemies in high places, and shortly after he arrives at the safe house, all hell breaks loose. A small army of gunmen are determined to see Frost dead. Meanwhile, Weston will do everything in his power to protect Frost, regardless of his crimes. Now Weston's only hope for getting out of this alive is to find out who's gunning for them, and seek out someone he can trust before it's too late. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard
Release Date: Feb 10, 2012
Rated R for violence and some language
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
Safe House is the type of film you keep expecting to surprise or excite you but it never really can. Incredibly generic and predictable it never rises above better films of its ilk. Daniel Espinosa directs his film like a muted Tony Scott, the action is chaotic and loud but nothing seems to illicit the response intended. To his credit, Espinosa does pace his film steadily and never lets it lag too much, as a result this 2 hour film doesn’t feel any longer than it should. Denzel Washington is clearly having a good time; he’s always the most interesting person on screen both as an actor and character. Sadly the character is underwritten and you can’t help feeling like you’ve just scratched the surface. Ryan Reynolds should make for a perfect action star but he just never believable especially when delivering a punch. It doesn’t help that his character is a moron who makes the absolute worst decisions in every situation. The supporting cast is made up of top tier actors and strong character actors which could enhance the overall experience but they are all terribly underused and underwritten. The plot itself is straightforward and generic, nothing really surprises you and any of the turns or surprises are telegraphed in such an obvious manner that they might as well have street signs announcing them. Still, it’s all easily digestible with its Bourne style action even if it’s instantly forgettable.