CIA agent Matt Weston keeps house at a CIA safe house in South Africa but has never had to do anything other than sweep and mop until legendary Ex-CIA agent turned rogue Tobin Frost is brought in for interrogation.
Film making 14/25
Bonus Features 16/25
I am getting tired of watching films that try so hard to convince viewers that the movie is something new and special when they simply cobble ideas from other movies. While I may not have written the next best seller I can see when a film is taking from others and not putting anything new out there on the screen.
Denzel Washington plays Tobin Frost, a CIA agent who inexplicably left the agency during a mission and has been a rogue aspect ever since. The CIA has been chasing him down whenever possible but Tobin has always eluded them until he walks into the American consulate in South Africa.
Tobin turns himself in so the agency sends a unit to South Africa to interrogate him to find out what is going on and why he suddenly turns himself in. Ryan Reynolds plays rookie agent Matt Weston whose first assignment in the agency is a safe house keeper but he is desperate to get a new job in the agency.
His days are spent keeping supplies like first aid equipment as well as general housekeeping much like a hotel would with clean sheets and clean floors. The safe house is ready 24 hours a day seven days a week in case the agency has need for both safe keeping of agents and as a place to quietly interrogate someone.
The safe house is an unofficial place as the United States does not have good relations with South Africa so the agency does not acknowledge its existence. Matt is bored with his 12 months of service and feels the agency owes him a new posting, somewhere just a tad more exciting than housekeeping services.
He gets his wish but not exactly what he was expecting when the team brings Tobin Frost to his safe house for interrogation and torture. Tobin talks back to the head of the team played by Robert Patrick but soon after initial water boarding the safe house is attacked.
After Matt sees an agent shot to death Tobin talks Matt into leaving using a back exit out of the safe house trying to keep Tobin alive long enough to find out what is going on. Vargas and his team chase Matt and Tobin while Tobin slowly reveals to Matt why he left the agency and the reason they are now hunting him down.
Matt finds out it’s the agency themselves who are after Tobin because he has evidence linking top officials to very bad deals throughout the history of the agency. Even current top officials in the agency will be in trouble if the documents Tobin has gets to the public which is why the agency is sending their own to kill Tobin.
Safe House is a pretty good movie but like many of the recent dramatic spy films it contains too much of the Bourne over the top fighting and Bond style drama. Many movies over the past couple of years have closely followed that fighting style of fast and impossible moves along with over the top dramatic stunts.
The films story is also very typical with the usual top officials in the agency being bad and using their own agents to keep them safe and the cover-up secure. Killings are no problem and agents start taking shots at each other so that their own reputation and those of their bosses are kept intact.
Safe House is interesting using the agencies secret location as a backdrop to the beginning of the film but the over the top fighting and stunts just make the film seem too familiar. Safe House is your typical drama with spies and action but it is also too typical of these thriller films with the over the top stunts and fighting.
Video and audio quality are very good to great with excellent video while audio was actually less of a top notch aspect of the Blu-ray release. Video is crisp and clean throughout and looked very good, I really enjoyed the beginning of the film with its slow but steady look at the safe house and its clean appearance to show what it is used for.
Audio was also very good but voice was at times a bit unclear or too soft during action sequences so a few times I did miss a few spoken words due to the action. Surround sound was just fine and there were no other problems with audio but the quality did not matter as much as the films plot and general direction.
Bonus features were average with one exceptional note to a making of feature that I will get to in a minute; the making of features are pretty common and what you would expect. There are cast interviews, making of features and some aspects only available through the U Control picture in picture controls.
During one of the hour or so making of features they reveal that Denzel Washington actually was water boarded for the film for authenticity. It was only for a few seconds but Denzel wanted to be water boarded, have water poured on his face covered with a towel, so they could film that scene realistically.
It looks great in the movie and a bit of a surprise that it worked out so well but overall the scene only added a bit to the overall film which was a decent but average action film. Safe House was pretty decent and action packed but also very typical of action and drama films that just does not bring anything new to the film scene.
While Safe House is a good enough movie a rental will suffice to see the action and well-acted film starring Denzel Washington and up and comer Ryan Reynolds.
Safe House Website