Safe House (2012)

Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick, Vera Farmiga
A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.
Safe House stars Washington and Reynolds are let down by a thin script and choppily edited action sequences.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 10 Feb 2012 Released:
  • 05 Jun 2012 DVD Release:
  • $126.1M Box office:

Trailer:

Danzel Saves What Really Is A Mess5/10
It's an interesting albeit predictable action flick that's nothing special but delivers enough to make it worthwhile. It does feature what has to be the dumbest CIA operatives/handlers ever put on film. What transpires, especially early, will make most viewers say "why in the world didn't they just…" but getting past that means enjoying a film where Denzel Washington perfectly menaces and charms his way through every scene. Put just about anyone else in this role and the film would lose a lot. Ryan Reynolds was good enough and the rest of the stellar supporting cast is absolutely wasted. Again, I found it interesting despite it being three repetitive acts of mindless turns highlighting that the government is pure evil and they apparently keeping hiring the same set of mindless goons who race around guns blazing everywhere with little effect or competence whatsoever. Also, the camera work was AWFUL in terms of the overuse of the shaky cam.
This is NOT a safe house.5/10
"I'm not your only enemy tonight." Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington)

In Safe House, Tobin Frost is one cool fugitive, but then he's played by one of Hollywood's coolest actors: Denzel Washington. Guarding him is young CIA agent Matt Weston played by the prominent film actor, Ryan Reynolds. Together they make good acting possible; if only this crime adventure would let them.

Instead, their moments are mere interludes to the cacophony of guns and gore, a smorgasbord of thriller cliches planted in neat rows by director Daniel Espinosa and blossoming glass and guts ad nauseam. As the cool Frost escapes numerous captures and Weston follows him (they've discovered the "safe house" is not so safe), I wish they'd sit and talk for an hour because the older agent has much to tell the younger about love (Matt has a questioning girlfriend) and survival in the den of thieves known as espionage—global that is. Frost has a computer file with the names of bad cops, some of them friends and supervisors. So nobody's safe.

Among the vulnerable are seriously good actors like Sam Shephard, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, and Robert Patrick. The shame is they have parts so formulaic as to obliterate their acting excellence.

Anyway, you get the routine. The only surprise is that this type of film continues to entertain us even when we know the plot points. In part that's because we like to see good/bad guys played by the likes of Denzel work their way through some challenging puzzles and achieve some success just as we try to do in our daily lives. Also we get to see multiple car crashes without being in them, a wish we may have subconsciously when we experience road rage.

I suggest you leave your rational hat at home (most of the plot makes little sense) and wear your thrill-seeking one because this film will fulfill all your demands for excitement without touching a nerve in your left brain.
Nothing really new but a good choice of actors, effects and locations7/10
If you have seen conspiracy flicks like "Enemy Of The State", "The Bourne Identity", "XIII", "Unknown" and so on and so forth, you really won't be surprised by this movie. The story presents nothing new and is about the usual stereotypes: the good one turn out to be the bad ones, the bad ones turn out to be the good ones, the weak ones turn out to be the strong ones and so one. I think you get what I mean. The movie has no big surprises after all.

But if this kind of movie is well done, it can still merit a rating of eight points. I only give six point five and for this site seven points because of the mediocre camera work that was shaking and irritating at some points of the movie.

The rest of the film is quite decent. The locations are interesting and the movie takes place in Cape Town in South Africa and not in Europe or North America. The fighting and action scenes are very well done and with the visual and sound effects in cinema, it's a pleasant entertainment to watch this movie for sure. It's a good flick to change your mind, to relax and to take a break from your everyday life for sure. The acting is also rather good with two strong lead actors that are a very cool Denzel Washington and a sympathetic and determined Ryan Reynolds.

The only little flaw is that I would have liked to know more about both characters, especially about their past and what really led them to do what they actually do in the movie.

The movie simply has not the greatest script to stand out among many other similar flicks but it's still a good film. I would suggest you to rather watch the movies I talked about in my introduction or classics like "I As In Icarus" but if you have seen and liked them all, you will surely appreciate this work, too.
I did not expect it to be this good.9/10
I'll be honest. When I saw the trailer, I was madly excited. It looked fantastic. But then, after a while, I remembered, that the main point of a trailer is to do just that. Hype the film, while revealing literally all the main plot scenes and parts. I didn't know if it was the case with 'Safe House', since, hey, it's Denzel Washington. That man doesn't just do any role.

I just got back from the movie theater, and am I glad that I was wrong. The movie is fantastic, electrifying. Do know that I don't just 'get off' on any action flick. In most cases, I just watch and forget. This was actually, fantastic. I don't have a single bad word to say about it, the way it was directed, acted or anything else. Everything was simply fantastic.

I realize my words sound absurd, and the score looks the same, but it really is worth it. I didn't see an action movie this well written, and this well acted in a really, really long time. Of course, by the end of the movie, any experienced watcher will figure out the ending by himself, but even though you 'get it', it's still extremely fun to sit through and see how the pieces connect.

I really hate long reviews, so I'm trying to make this one as short and sweet as possible. Lastly, have in mind that not one cast member failed his role. Ryan was fantastic, even better then I could've imagined (a nice showing of his acting skills after Green Lantern and Change-Up), and Denzel, what to say that hasn't been already said about that man's acting. Phenomenal doesn't cut it.

Go and see it. It's much better then anything else thats currently 'showing'.
Reynolds & Washington a Strong Duo7/10
It is so very difficult to find new material when you piece together a governmental conspiracy movie. Safe House is able to do it to a point. The greatest success of this movie is the usage of modern film techniques. Too often the bulging budget and ability to edit in effects makes action/thriller movies extremely unrealistic. Safe House does the opposite. It takes all of these techniques and uses them to make the movie raw and real.

The actors were hand-picked perfectly for their roles. Ryan Reynolds is the actor you have to use when you want to put a likable, relatable family man in a difficult situation. As a CIA operative caught up in something far outside his experience, he fits in perfectly. As for Denzel Washington, there is little that he can't do. For the unique character of Tobin Frost, there is no better man to fill the role. Together they form a storyline that merely needs to be able to stand on its own two feet. The storyline does stand on its own. That being said, it is the weakest part of the movie. The twists have all been seen before. This movie doesn't offer new plot points to the old conspiracy theory movie. It merely adds new characters. The new characters are great, but it is not enough. In order for the movie to be great, it needed to give something new to the story.

I must say that the end was beautiful. Without giving anything away, it was gracefully preformed. It wrapped up the loose ends that too many other movies simply leave hanging. It adds a whole other dimension to Ryan Reynolds' character. It will, without a doubt, leave you wanting more but somehow completely satisfied.

Safe House is worth a trip to the theatre. With thrillers such as this one, the action is better on the big screen. Between the action and the actors, you will not be disappointed. Next to Liam Neeson's The Grey, this is one of the best action movies so far this year. The thing is, it could have been even better. Too bad.

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