- Director: Boaz Yakin
- Genre: Thriller
- Cert: 16
- Details: US / 94mins
Are we making these again? There's something about a hardened New York detective whose tough edges are softened when he is forced to team up with a kid to take down some foreign bad guys that smells like the 80s, but admittedly no particular film comes to mind. Safe is what you can expect from a Jason Statham movie now – cheesy dialogue, fun action, dumb story.
"Luke's a killer... but he's an honest one," is how grumpy ex NYPD detective-turned-cage fighter (yeah, you read that correctly) Luke Wright is described. When Luke (Statham) cripples an opponent in a fight he was supposed to throw, gambling Russian mobsters kill his wife and child in revenge but leave him alive for him to wallow in grief (a bizarre move in a movie of bizarre moves). Suicidal, Luke finds a reason for living when he saves 11-year-old genius Mei (Chan) from some Triads; Mei has a photographic memory and holds the impossible-to-remember code to something in her head. With the Russians and the Chinese on his case, the last thing Luke needs is his greedy, corrupt cops chasing him down too.
So, not only has Jason Statham pulled off that hard to do trick and be a believable British action hero, he's fast becoming his own genre too: 'Yeah, I like comedy, sci-fi and Jason Statham'. Statham doesn't even bother trying to mask the Cockney accent here even though he's playing a New York detective and has fun spitting out the cringey one-liners: "I've been in restaurants all night and all I got served was lead." His Luke Wright seems to have been lifted from a Godfrey Ho flick; the Honk Kong director was (in)famous for writing cheap dialogue for paper-thin characters called Brad who are detectives skilled in martial arts, necessary for taking down evil businessmen with mobile phones bigger than bricks and who were also skilled in martial arts. Here, Statham is none more skilled in martial arts and director Yakin (Remember The Titans) finds numerous reasons for him to use them.
The action is fun and at times relentless but when Statham isn't on screen, which happens a lot considering the Triads, Russians and cops all need their screen time too, Safe loses whatever fun it has. The cheesy dialogue only works when the big man is on screen. It's great to see Big Trouble In Little China's James Hong back playing a bad guy, though.
Review by Gavin Burke | 13:00 | Friday 4th May 2012 | Movie Review
You know where you stand with a Jason Statham film - expect plenty of surly looks, bone-crunching fight scenes and some throwaway humour. Thankfully, Safe goes one step further and is an enjoyable 80s-throwback with a considerable bodycount. Statham plays cage-fighting ex-cop Luke, who occasionally takes out New York's garbage (of the human variety). When he comes across an 11-year-old Chinese girl on the run, he takes her under his protective wing. She's wanted by the Chinese and Russian mafia, as well as the mayor of New York as she's memorised the code to a safe with $30m in it. There's plenty of action throughout the film, with Luke's no-nonsense attitude keeping him going as he blasts his way through each set-piece. The violence is fast and brutal, lending it a welcome air of 80s excess. There are perhaps too many interested parties in the film, so the plot gets a little bit convoluted towards the end. It's a worthwhile Friday-night film that delivers a shot of adrenaline to a jaded genre.Posted 11:39 | Sat 5th May 2012
A bit slow to get going and set up the story but just explodes after about twenty minutes. Great action with Jason Stratham taking on the whole of New York and emerging without a scratch. Some excellent one liners a la Bruce Willis' John McClane and quite a but of homage to Die Hard. Great performance by Catherine Chang as the young girl in need of rescue. Does however look like it was set up for SAFE 2, 3 and 4. Definitely worth a trip out to see if you were a fan of any of the Transpoter movies or Strathams other shoot them upsPosted 17:31 | Sat 12th May 2012
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