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Grab Bag Review: ‘Safe House’ Is A Basic Action Movie, But Worth Your Time


I have this app on my phone where I can take a picture and then alter the grain, texture, color, etc in order to make my original photo look old but with vibrant hues. Well this is what the colors in Safe House look like. And then we get to the picture quality of the film. I couldn’t figure out why 5 minutes into the movie I had the worst headache ever (I just assumed it was a long day at work, stress, what-have-you), given it could have been the 18 minutes of previews beforehand (and I got to the theater late), but no, the film is really choppy and jerky. I don’t know if the Powers That Be who masterminded this movie didn’t have access to a still cam or know how to zoom in on something, but wooo, what a trip. And that is all I have bad to say about Safe House.

This movie did not interest me at all. I wouldn’t have even gone to see it if the film assignment wasn’t traded by a fellow contributor to Grab Bag Cinema (thank you Sam). I am not a big fan of Denzel Washington (which I have no idea why, he’s never done anything to me) and Ryan Reynolds in my opinion is the same character in almost all of his films (that cool guy, who is a tool in the beginning with his one liner responses, whom in the end we love and adore because he is actually a prince). I was quite surprised. The acting is quite good in the movie. Who knew Ryan could play a character that isn’t super cool?

The plot is basic…it’s about espionage. I know, I know, they don’t make enough spy movies these days. Tobin Frost is an ex-Cia agent gone rouge, Matt Weston is the agent with a crappy assignment guarding a safe house in South Africa and of course Frost ends up in the safe house, some bad things happen, there is tons of shooting (the creepy liquidyish cyborg from Terminator 2 dies) and we are off on this wild goose chase. I knew 10 minutes into it (it took me that long to be able to adjust to the floppy camera work without becoming dizzy) who the real bad guy/gal was so the who, what, when, where why things are going on wasn’t all that big of a deal (there is really nothing original about the plot), however the pace of the film was good, action sequences were tight, and the fighting scenes were awesome (Ryan gets beat up throughout the film and actually cries about it…what male action star cries in movies these days).

There was some really hot guys in this movie too. I know I should be looking at various aspects of the film, however I am a homo and there is some nice eye candy throughout. The man who stalks after Frost’s character is named Fares Fares (the guy so nice they named him twice). I have a penchant for big nosed, dark haired guys, and this one takes the cake (move over Adrien Brody, your top notch on my list of hot male actors might have some competition). The douchebag from The Darkest Hour is in it, he is pretty hot too portraying another guy who guards a safe house. There are tons of big muscled, bald-headed dudes…they all end up dead though, and none of them are shirtless so we will just mention them in passing. I do think Ryan is a tasty snack, and Denzel is aging quite nicely. Mad Eye Moody from “Harry Potter” was in it and so was the married chick from Up In The Air (but they kind of made her look jowly, as if she had no neck, just head and shoulders). A nice ensemble piece somewhat reminiscent of the “Bourne” movies, but with two male leads instead of one.

If you want a nice, basic action movie with a somewhat decent plot (even though we have seen it a million times) and some good actors, go see Safe House. You might need some ibuprofen for the jumpy cinematography, but the coloring is fantastic, the action fast paced and finally we have a movie that has no lead in to a sequel, which is so rare these days. The movie actually ends and that’s that. Yay!

4 Bags

About the author

James Fitzpatrick

A self-appointed non-conformist movie enthusiast, I enjoy everything from films depicting alien robots transforming into transportation devices(awesome), thrasher film victims running away from their walking attackers (comical) and overweight individuals over coming domestic violence (engaging). Growing up in the smog induced skies of Southern California, I am the lover of good, bad and horrible movies of all types. The quintessential movie fan whom happens to be (in whispered tones) gay, who would rather watch action movies then musicals (even though I like those sing-along films) any day. Presently living in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix), I hold a B.S. in Family & Human Development, a B.A. in Sociology and a MAS in Infant Family Practice. I have a deep care and understanding for people and am very knowledgeable about culture and society... with all my brains, compassion and academic know how, I can admit to my love of atrocious 80’s film (The Pirate Movie).