Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One Minute Movie Review: Safe

Jason Statham has quickly become the new standard bearer of the modern action hero, a cross between Steve McQueen, Bruce Lee, and Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. Every film is a new achievement in martial arts skill and choreography, scenes that would make John Woo weep tears of ecstasy. What gives Statham the edge above others of his ilk is his ability to actually act. He is certainly no Sir John Gielgud, James Dean, or Marlon Brando, but he is far and away more talented than any of his competitors. He has also had a series of pretty decent flicks with very few miss steps on his resume. Safe is no exception. However, unlike his other adrenaline driven romps, this film has a substantial and engaging plot that forsakes the foreseeable as an ultra gritty, ultra violent thriller that has a distinctive and soemwhat realistic conclusion. Unfortunately, the remaining company has little acting prowess, and Statham is forced to carry the entire cast and movie. The script keeps moving because Statham won't let it stand still for a second, his character shifting flawlessly and fluidly from a haunted and abused recluse to superhero, a feat I would not have expected, but somehow Statham pulls off. The twists and turns are sufficient, not extraordinary, but the pace and scope keeps you interested and entertained. Again, the fight sequences are the highlights, and there is a plethora of them. 3 out of 5 Kernels; stylish, edgy, dark, and with a noticeable amount of substance, Safe plays it anything but.

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