Sunday, February 12, 2012

Safe House is a Safe Bet

If it’s action you’re jonsing for, Safe House is a safe bet. The Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds’ thriller is worth your time. In fact, I saw an early morning showing with my friend KJ. As we left, she said, she would have paid full price for Safe House (and that’s saying something).

Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA recruit who’s assigned to watch a ‘safe house’ in Capetown, South Africa. The safe house is a place CIA operatives would bring suspects in custody that were in the area. The only problem is there are no suspects in the area, so Matt fills his days bouncing balls against the wall and twiddling his thumbs. Of course, that is about to change.

Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) a former brilliant CIA operative has spent the last decade as a wanted man and traitor, selling secrets to anyone with the cash to pay for them. Only the CIA isn’t the only group after Tobin. A group of mysterious renegades is after him as well. After an edge-of-your-seat chase, Tobin ends up in front of the US embassy. He decides to take his chances and turns himself in. And, all of the sudden, Weston has his first safe house guest. … And what a guest he is.

It’s hard to believe that this is the same Ryan Reynolds that starred in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. He held his own with Denzel who, of course, made a very good bad guy. With this group of thugs and the CIA on his tail, Weston more than proves that he’s ready to be moved out of the safe house.

Car chases, shoot-outs ,changing allegiances, Safe House had it all. The subplot with Weston and his girlfriend (Nora Arnezeder) was thankfully short. With a movie like this, a lull in the action, really is a lull. Safe House is best when it’s behind the wheel or wielding a gun. Fortunately, that is most of the movie.

I also liked the change of scenery that the South African backdrop provided. Europe has been done to death, and the Middle East is getting there. Capetown came alive on film and served the movie well.

I knew who the real bad guy would turn out to be from the first scene, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this movie. I highly recommend Safe House.

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