Denzel! Denzel! Denzel ‘Mutha F—in’ Washington, was there any doubt this would be an enjoyable movie? Really? If you haven’t notice I am a fan of Denzel ‘Mutha F—in’ Washington, because unlike most actors who are just well liked, he is respected. And unlike most actors, he can actually act. He really is a talent that adds credibility to any project he works on. Oh yeah, Ryan Reynolds is in this too…
‘Safe House’ is not really that complicated of a plot to outline so I will make this brief. The movie tells the story of Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) who is just a young guy who works for the CIA and sits in a room all day. He is in charge of looking after the ‘Safe House’, which is where agents go when they need to lay low or take care of some secret agent business. Unfortunately for Matt business is slow, and what he wants, what Matt REALLY wants…is to become a real agent (and kick lots of ass). Well be careful what wish for, because one of the CIA’s most wanted rouge agent’s Tobin Frost (Denzel ‘Mutha F—in’ Washington) is on the loose, and after he is captured(willingly), fate brings him to Weston’s safehouse. While Frost is being interrogated, some unknown forces break in looking for Frost, and Weston escapes with him. Next thing you know Weston is on the run, trying to bring Frost in, while trying to figure out who set him up, what does Frost know? And who can he trust? What ensues is a story of double crossing, close quarter combat, and knowing that the only person you can trust in this game: Is yourself.
Denzel is great as Tobin Frost. For a man in his 50′s, he still moves and takes action like a man still in the zone. He gives the character Tobin an edge, you can tell he’s lethal, that he is expeirienced, and you know that Weston would never stand a chance if he ever had to go toe to toe with him. One of the great things about Denzel’s performance is how subtle he can be when he plays dangerous characters, he never looks like he’s trying to be a badass, he plays it all cool, but when he strikes people end up dead.It’s great and it keeps you on the edge of the seat because you never really know whose side he really is on. Now in my opinion, this is not Denzel’s greatest role/performance (most likely due to the script), but it is on par with the rest of his great work so you won’t be let down.
Ryan Reynolds also fairs well, you have to if you are in the same room with Denzel ‘Mutha F—in’ Washington, and he steps his game up. Reynolds is not the usual wise cracking, shirtless, charming hero we are used to seeing. He is a man over his head, trying to prove himself by doing the right thing, and his character goes through the most changes and challenges throughout the movie. You can really see in his eyes, that he is second guessing the life he has chosen for himself.
Performances aside this movie has some of that Hollywood shaky-cam that I do not like. I swear ever since ‘The Bourne Identity’ everybody out there must believe that a spy movie has to have quick editing, and a shaky camera. There was a chase sequence set in the dark and I had issues figuring out what was going in. It looked like the director strapped cameras to everybody’s wrist and ankle and told them to go to recess! Aside from the action scenes in the dark, things play much better in the light. This is secret agent world we are talking about, so people get sniped, stabbed, and knocked upside the head with random objects out of nowhere. So you have a tense feeling to always keep your guard up. Weston has an especially intense fight toward the climax of the movie, it’s bloody, things break, and it really does look like 2 men in the fight of their life. It is a great moment, and I really don’t believe Ryan Reynolds gets as much credit for his acting as he should.
All in all, I really enjoyed this movie, I do think the ending battle was a bit anti-climatic compared to the other action scenes of this movie. And when the main bad guy is revealed, you won’t be too surprised to see who it is. But this movie did provide me with good entertainment. Deep down you know if it wasn’t for the star power of Ryan Reynolds and Denzel ‘Mutha F—in’ Washington, this movie would have been an average flick. But it was given new life by these two leading men. And for those wondering, yes, I am aware ‘Mutha F—in’ is not Denzel Washington’s middle name. Danger…is his middle name.
Bottom Line: SEE IT!