Safe is a movie written and directed by Boaz Yakin, who has quite the varied resume with directing credits for Uptown Girls and Remember the Titans and writing credits From Dusk Til Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money and Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time. This time out he has made a gritty action movie about a former special police operative who has taken it upon himself to protect an Asian girl who has memorized the valuable combination to a safe. They are on the run from the Russian mob, Triads, and the police. Safe stars Jason Statham in the lead with Catherine Chan running along by his side.
This is not a safe movie to just pop into the movie player and get into. The first twenty minutes or so of Safe are a hurried rush of clips, brief scenes that jump around all over the place setting up backstory and following Statham and Chan’s character before they meet up. Production value saves you from getting too frustrated, however, and when the character finally pair up it is a more straightforward ride. I imagine the script looks like it was written by a skitzo for many of the early pages!
This movie does not shy away from violence and many of the action sequences are shot in such a way that you as the viewer almost feel like you are a participant. There is a lot of free flowing, in tight amongst the action camera work, that is less like shaky-cam effect, and more like putting you on to a ride at Universal Studios. Some cool stuff was accomplished in the sequences shot in this fashion, though it did somewhat feel like they could have pushed the technology and style even further.
The acting is fine and dandy across the board and the story is along the lines of a direct to DVD Mercury Rising type of thing, that has some strong elements, but is mostly there to serve as a backdrop for Jason Statham to eat up the screen shooting guns and punching bad guys. However, Safe did have a theatrical release! It’s not bad, it’s just not really re-inventing the wheel per-say, which is what Hollywood is all about: making money off of the same stuff over and over again without having to invest in something risky and new. The climax that the movie builds towards ala the final battle does get quite silly, but then it pops off short with a change of direction, not giving you the epic fight you might have thought was coming and instead giving a character some nice arch and a cool moment.
Safe takes some time to work out its kinks and get you into the story, but by the end the flick becomes a decent enough action piece for a rental.