Safe – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on May 4, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Lawrence Bender, Dana Brunetti, Joseph Zolfo (Co-producer)
DIRECTOR – Boaz Yakin
WRITER – Boaz Yakin
CAST – Jason Statham, Catherine Chan and Chris Sarandon
MUSIC – Mark Mothersbaugh
Jason Statham’s doing what he does best. In a gut-busting, gun-fight riddled, action-packed flick he bashes up bad guys galore, and this time he is fighting the Triads (East-Asian mafia), the Russian mafia and the New York police all at once. This, to save a little girl whose photographic memory holds a precious number code to a safe that everyone’s after. He does all of this with the regular Statham steel and this time he has got a wound to nurse too. His life has been destroyed by these very men and it’s a chance for sweet retribution and resurrecting himself.
The film doesn’t dwell or let you dwell on those aspects though and for an action film it works well enough. It provides the tenuous but important character motivation for Luke (Statham) to brave the obstacles he does and come up tops.
The action thriller has a cat and mouse plot at heart, around which it builds all its chases and fights. The mafia and the police are to exchange codes for safes that hold money and information; the code that little Mei (Catherine Chan) has memorised. Luke devises a plan to outdo all of them and does so with visceral combat. The little girl faces the flak with a precocious élan and intelligence making her an engaging character in contrast to Luke’s die-hard self. She needs no protection and desires none. Having seen a little too much of reality at a young age she is self-assured and smart in her defences; Luke simply provides the iron wall to safeguard her. Throughout the film, they share an even, unattached relationship, with the cautious Mei taking her time to trust his motives for saving her. It is this relationship, understated and under-emphasised that gives the otherwise plaid action movie its edge.
The film plays with its title, bringing both meanings in its themes but it hardly becomes something to applaud what with its obviousness. Besides, it gets a bit too explanatory in the innumerable negotiations and very surprisingly leaves out any clues to how Luke cracked the mystery of the code. However, helped by snappy editing the pace of the film is such that, over-whelmed by the loudness of gunshots and frenzy of chases, we miss really bothering about it. Besides we are used to superhuman heroes who can do anything. That Luke does with his trademark ruggedness and for action fans or the action ‘mood’, this should suffice. For other times there is always Hugo.