Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Safe House

The past two weeks my wife and I have been catching up on some old movies. Lately we've been on a bit of a spy kick. For some reason Tamar has suddenly realized that she loves Spy Movies, like a lot. So we watched some old James Bond movies, Spy Game the Bourne movies and the Mission Impossible series. We've come to the conclusion that some of these modern spy flicks are all great and unique in their own way but they really don't make the spy genre like they used to. To be fair it was the Cold War you couldn't paint a better scene for intrigue suspense and story then Eastern Europe with a divided Berlin. Spy Game and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy are surely exceptions also given the fact that they take place during that dark period. But I digress, Safe House, from the trailer looked like a fun romp'em stomp'em thriller, like Man on Fire meets the Bourne Identity. For the most part that's what it was but it could have been so much more.
Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a still green C.I.A. agent is desperate to get into the action. So far he's spent about 9 months monitoring the Safe House in Cape Town, South Africa, bored out of his mind. He's requested transfers, bitched and moaned to his superiors, but as the trailer suggest he's about to get more than he's bargained for. Seasoned former Spy Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) has surrendered at the Embassy but it looks like he's got some major heavy hitters tight on his trail. This guy went rogue has killed multiple agents and is holding onto some major Intel. Before they can fully debrief Frost, of course things go south and the Safe House is compromised putting Frost and Weston in the field and on the run.
This was a really fun action flick, it had a little bit of everything you want in a spy thriller some intrigue a good setting and some really excellent action pieces. I thought the pacing and the characters were pretty good for the most part. The only true flaw I saw was it was so damn predictable. Unfortunately you'll see the twist coming a million miles away, which is unfortunate, because there was so much potential for this film to be even better and it just falls a little short. Denzel is at his best as an former spy whose allegiances are hard to pin down. Ryan Reynolds isn't bad as the newbie trying to wrap his head around the mind fuck that Frost tries to lay on him. Sometimes in these roles it feels like he's trying to hard and this one is no exception. But Denzel certainly helps him to elevate his game in their scenes together. I also liked the supporting turns from Sam Shepard as the C.I.A boss and Brendan Gleeson as Weston's handler. Vera Farmiga was kind of underused as a section chief who just seemed to whine an awful lot. Which is unfortunate cause I really like her in these roles but for some reason this character she was playing was a bit underwritten. Anyway, if you are looking for a fun chase flick with some good action then check this one out.
Grade: 3 Buckets

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i thought this was a very good movie.