There are some movies out there in the universe that follow a very simple formula and despite any predetermined expectations it all works together much better then you thought it would. Out tomorrow at theatres all across Toronto from our friends at Alliance films is the latest action flick from Jason Statham; it’s called “Safe”.
Starring Jason Statham
Written & Directed by Boaz Yakin
In “Safe”, as a second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit, Luke Wright (Statham) lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change… until the day he blows a rigged fight. Wanting to make an example of him, the Russian Mafia murders his family and banishes him from his life forever, leaving Luke to wander the streets of New York destitute, haunted by guilt, and tormented by the knowledge that he will always be watched, and anyone he develops a relationship with will also be killed. However when he witnesses a frightened twelve-year-old Chinese girl, Mei (Catherine Chan)being pursued by the same gangsters who killed his wife, Luke impulsively jumps to action… and straight into the heart of a deadly high-stakes war.
On paper this film screamed of being a direct-to DVD forgettable flick, but director Boaz Yakin has put together a fun action yarn that is equal parts thrilling with just the right amounts of ridiculous. Yakin tears through the streets of New York with blazing speed as we follow the action at every turn. Sometimes a film comes together based on execution alone, and in this case Yakin knew every point that he had to hit in this kind of crime thriller and he hits them quite well adding enough little tweaks and surprises to keep the audience engaged and rise above the level that I suspect most people were anticipating with this film.
Jason Statham was essentially playing a variation of all the other characters he has played in his action films but it is something he does so very well. Cinema goers have always gravitated towards those true action thriller stars that can shoot a gun, take a punch and crack wise about it all at the same time, for the early years of the 21st century that man has been Jason Statham and one can only hope that he keeps it up. In her first feature, young Catherine Chan as Mei did quite well delivering a charismatic performance that almost mirrored Statham’s in intensity and when necessary humor and looks to be a promising young actress down the line in future films. “Hell on Wheels” star Anson Mount shows up in a small yet vital supporting role as well as some action thriller veterans like Robert John Burke, James Hong & Chris Sarandon to give it all the appropriate sleazy vibe as Statham and Chan navigate the New York underworld.
Movies don’t always have to bring something new and different to the table, sometimes they just need to execute some tried and true methods that are guaranteed to entertain your target audience. So if you are looking for the “Safe” bet at movie theatres this weekend, you just found it.
3 out of 5 stars.
“Safe” is open tomorrow at theatres all across Toronto; click here for a list of show times near you.
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