Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick, Brendan Gleason, Vera Farmiga, Sam Shephard, Rubén Blades
Fordham University '15
"I am Ozymandias, king of kings: look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" -Percy Bysshe Shelley
Review By: Kieran Newton
You know, I gotta admit, I’m starting to get tired with straight up action movies. Most of them are incredibly boring, and the “twist” in them is never very good. Seriously. It seems like everybody is just trying to recreate the brilliant fluke that was the Bourne series. Sadly, Safe House isn’t a very good iteration of that. It’s trite, it says nothing new, and for the vast majority of the film, I was pretty bored.
So, Safe House tells the story of…wait, why am I even doing this? Like, seriously, you guys could probably figure it out. We have Ryan Reynolds as the quintessential rookie, Denzel Washington as the rogue agent, and a “safe house” that really isn’t. From then on, it’s a rapid sequence of “oh god, what do I do, web of lies, web of lies, WEB OF LIES” until the film’s conclusion. Everything you expect to happen will happen. I guarantee it. There will be no point where you will be surprised. I mean, it takes place in South Africa, so that’s slightly different than normal, but the main organization involved is still the CIA, so, whoop-de-doo.
See, the thing that made the Bourne series great is that the audience never had to know everything that was going on—nothing had to be fully explained to them. Jason always felt like a cornered animal, but we also knew that he was fully capable of handling the situation, right from the beginning. The setup of the film is that Reynolds is utterly incapable of handling an insane situation, an assumption he then defies again and again. That’s not clever, it’s annoying. It lacks continuity and isn’t a logical character progression.
I just…I don’t want to talk about this film anymore. It’s not that it was horrible—I sat there and watched all of it, from annoying setup to unfulfilling conclusion—it’s that it was so…bland. I watched this film last night, and I’ve already forgotten most of it, because that’s how little of an impression it made. It’s just another film to be forgotten in the grand scheme of things, neither so bad that it makes any lists, nor good enough to even garner a small cult following. It just…exists, and it wallows in its existence. It’s just not worth it.
The extra features on the BluRay do little to assuage this lack of giving a shit. As usual, there’s a “making of” featurette, as well as a few detailing some of the larger action sequences in the movie. These sequences were pretty underwhelming to begin with, having people talk about them equally so. The disc also features the new “second screen” thing that’s been gaining popularity, but you need either a tablet or a laptop to use this app, rather than just a smartphone, and besides, it wasn’t enough to make this movie even remotely
So, Safe House gets one thumb down. The other thumb doesn’t care enough.