SAFE HOUSE – Movie Review
Posted by Vivek on February 19, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Scott Stuber
DIRECTOR – Daniel Espinosa
WRITER – David Guggenheim
CAST – Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga
MUSIC – Ramin Diawadi
Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds go zip-zap and zoom in this espionage thriller directed by Swedish director Daniel Espinosa. It is a racy thriller with multiple plot twists in the family of the Bourne thrillers with lot of action, bullets, chases and blood-spilling served up with relish.
Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is an ex-CIA agent who has defaulted into an international criminal and is being hunted by criminals and CIA all at once. In a bid to escape the gangster Vargas (Fares Fares) and his men, Frost takes shelter with the CIA, turning himself in. He is kept at the safe house whose security guard is played by Ryan Reynolds. He is Matt Weston, a low-level agent who is actually an undercover CIA agent. During the interrogation of Frost, Vargas’ men attack the safe house and Matt escapes with Frost and a series of gun fights, car chases and chess game of life-threatening moves ensues that involves a highly confidential intelligence file Frost has stashed away. This becomes the Holy Grail that the CIA, Frost and Reynolds then stake everything to catch hold of and protect in turns.
Amongst all of this though, there is little that remains memorable. Denzel Washington’s Frost and Ryan Reynolds Matt stand out as significant characters simply due to the personal charisma of the actors and the same holds true for Vera Farmiga as the CIA agent Catherine Linkater. The film closes on a note that keeps its heroes as heroes but borrows from the contemporary setting hinting at the furore Wikileaks has managed to create and giving it a sly nod.
As much as the film is action-driven it is taken forward through dialogue. Crisp and pointed conversations sprinkle the entire proceedings giving the much-needed rest from the insistent crashing of the surrounding world. There isn’t much in the skill of the dialogues though except taking the story forward. The film opens on a slow note, but soon revs up into its racy self. Sharp editing and sharp cinematography with clean and generously-lit frames help tell this tepid story on.
The film serves up liberal action sequences and violence enough to delight fans of action flicks. There are enough cars being crashed, enough bullets being shot and enough daring stunts performed to take home. There is a plot convoluted enough to keep one who isn’t looking for more than temporary thrills, riveted. Beyond that, maybe one should look at other films for satisfaction.