A good homage to the classics - Eoghan Bolger
Safe is an action film directed by Boaz Yakin, it stars Catherine Chan, James Hong, Jason Statham and is 87 minutes long. The story sees a former police officer (played by Statham) turned boxer in trouble when he gets involved with a gang war over a young girl who knows the combination codes for a safe.
It is easy to call safe out on being generic and plotless with by the book approach to filmmaking and you'd be right. That said however the aim here felt to be to reproduce the 80s action film. It certainly has all the ingredients there, cheesy one liners, crooked police, goons for villains but it also has good execution, meaning that this corniness gets played up, the movie runs with it doesn't concern itself with being self conscious either. Safe understand its silly and overthetop and delivers, simple, light entertainment and in its attempt to recreate the films of yesteryear actually succeeds where so many fail. Often these modern day action films fall due to being overly long, safe keeps it short, it smartly avoids filler scenes and ramps up the pumping, exciting action and the parts between with the very much in tune writing add to the 80s feel rather than taking away from the movie and theres plenty of combat scenes to be had. These scenes end up being fun in an intentionally corny way but also feel stylish and create/build atmosphere.
Statham is the source of much of the films charisma and carries it well, a lot better than a lot of other action movie stars and he is a callback to the oldskool action Hollywood heroes, he enjoys it what he's doing and he embodies his character's well and typecasting be damned he's both arresting and attractive on screen. This isn't a phoned in performance mind, watching safe I see Statham as the next Stallone or Arnie and this is a worthy way to quench ones thirst before the second Expendables film comes along.
Criticisms here would be that inevitably it is clichéd, outdated and the ending is very rushed and though it gets so much right the Expendables still captured the feel of the oldies a lot better, but this is a fun, hammy homage and a classic affair so long as you don't over think it.
Verdict: *** ½
Review published on the 09 May 2012 01:22
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