In an age of endless sequels and spin-offs,
3D gimmickry and dodgy rom-coms starring the lumpen Channing Tatum, itís
nice to see a purveyor of old school ass-kickery like Jason Statham
unashamedly plying his wares in the manner of his stylistic forbears
like Stallone and Van Damme.
Another adrenaline-fuelled vehicle for the
perennially-ripped Statham (though to his credit there is only one short
scene in which he appears shirtless), Safe is a veritable
cavalcade of fly kicks, broken glass, car chases and gunfire. And itís
In wondrously unlikely 80s action film
style, Statham stars herein as a former whistleblower cop turned
journeyman cagefighter. After he refuses to throw a rigged lower-tier
MMA bout his pregnant wife is murdered by the Russian Mafia. Reaching
what might aptly be termed a low point in both his career and personal
life, he mopes around homeless shelters for a bit and is harassed by
some of his former crooked cop buddies.
At this point he stumbles across
11-year-old Mei, a Chinese wunderkind whose photographic memory is used
by Chinese gangs to store information pertaining to their nefarious
shenanigans, thus saving on paperwork. More specifically Mei is holding
the code to a safe which holds $30 million in cash. The Russians want
her, the Chinese want to keep her, and the cabal of crooked New York
cops are more than willing to kill to get their hands on the loot as
well. All Statham wants to do is protect the kid, get his revenge and
break as many bones as possible in the process.
The plot is a simple yet highly effective
one and director Boaz Yakin, heretofore best known for helming the 2000
Denzel Washington flick Remember the Titans, is in fine fettle,
pulling out more jump cuts, flashbacks and in-your-face handycam
sequences than you can shake a heavily muscled forearm at. And while I
wish Statham would brush up on his American accent a bit heís also on
form here - the stunts are first rate and the film has more inventively
dispatched bad guys than any since the last Rambo instalment.
This one definitely warrants an A, for Action. Or possibly
Ass-kicking. Or perhaps just Awesomeness.
Trailers for Get the Gringo, Silent
House and Hara Kiri.
DTS-HD Master Audio Sound Check