The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Safe House full of action but lacks explosive impact

By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds star in an action thriller set in Cape Town, South Africa.
Reynolds plays CIA housekeeper Matt Weston who keeps track of a safe house.
Photo courtesy Universal Pictures

Like a gigantic meteor that falls to pieces in the atmosphere, Safe House just doesn’t arrive with any impact.

The movie establishes Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) as a CIA “housekeeper” who keeps track of a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, and whose career isn’t taking him much further. However, he gets an unexpected — and notorious — guest in the form of Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington), and the safe house is broken into by assassins out to get Frost. Escaping, Weston takes Frost on a wild, action-thrilling adventure through Cape Town, evading mercenaries and going through the motions of a predictable character arc.

Safe House, while basic, is an entertaining movie. Reynolds and Washington are wonderful dramatic actors, and their dialogue sequences are strong. Action sequences are chaotic and sloppily shot, but they are plentiful and at least watchable.

But somewhere between the projector and the screen, the movie loses any bite it may have had. The plot twists and veers, but the audience keeps going in the same direction. The camera jumps around wildly in action sequences, but viewers are still in their seats. Reynolds’ and Washington’s above-average performances are wasted in an exactly average production.

There’s nothing about Safe House that reaches out and grabs the audience the way a movie can — the way a movie that takes a beaten track must to separate itself from previous installments in its genre. As a result, most DVD cases will have a conga line of movies that eclipse Safe House completely.

Safe House has all the pieces in place to be a good action-thriller, but it just fails to put them together.

 

Final take: An impotent action thriller

Those who would enjoy it: Washington fans, persons absolutely desperate for a spy thriller in theaters

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian