Safe House Review
:Fast-paced plot, Washington is solid, gritty
Do Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington make a safe-bet with an action-packed ride?
Safe House sees the return of Denzel Washington after a little break from the big screen as he takes on the role of Tobin Frost, a CIA-operative who went rogue and started selling valuable intel on the black market. Alongside Washington, Ryan Reynolds plays Matt Weston who is a rookie CIA agent who’s been assigned to a CIA safe house in Cape Town.
Frost is apprehended and sent to the safe house for Wilson to take care of him before he can be deported back to the US. Unfortunately, things go wrong and the safe house is compromised, causing Reynolds and Washington to flee and try work out what actually happened, while also not entrusting one another.
The film takes a very gritty approach to action and suspense. The camera work is very fast and abrupt, with quick-editing and sharp close-ups – almost in the vein of a Michael Mann thriller, although with less ‘shaky-ness’. There are some intense shoot-outs, car-chases and physical martial-art combat sequences which fill out the action portion of the movie, while the deception and interaction between the two main characters provides some depth to the gun-fire and broken bones.
Safe House then touches on themes and ideas of trust, patriotism and proving oneself, but it’s all thanks to the performances of the leads, most notably Denzel Washington – who once again gives everything he’s got into the role as he always does. His portrayal of Tobin Frost is well-rounded and cynical in comparison to Reynolds’ eager-to-prove-himself Weston. Reynolds manages to convey the in-over-his-head anxiety and strain he deals with throughout the movie.
Safe House is a very good movie. It does cause itself some headaches by weaving a story much more convoluted than necessary, but underneath it all it’s a gritty action-thriller that makes up for all the little cracks ten-fold with some great acting and set-piece action scenes.