Jason Statham is to the noughties and the teenies (is that even a word?), what Schwarzenegger and Stallone were to the eighties and nineties. Although, with the martial arts moves and slimmer build, he actually makes action movies a tad more believable. (At least in my book). He’s a believable thug if you will.
His latest action flick (Safe) is no exception and I’d highly recommend it for a boys night in. When the DVD/Blu-ray (Netflix or whatever) hits the stores, grab the obligatory six pack(s) & peperoni pizza(s) and strap yourself in. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
The IMDB rating was a tad disappointing, so I guess the critics must’ve given this a real slating. But it’s Statham, what can you expect? As actors go, he’s obviously not got the greatest depth and breadth. I doubt we’ll be seeing him doing Shakespeare or any romantic comedies any time soon. But for me, that’s a good thing. Play to your strengths yo.
Sometimes I like to be pleasantly surprised. Other times, I like to know what I’m getting. This movie obviously fell in to the latter category. So I avoided reading any scathing reviews; didn’t bother with the trailers (which usually show all the best bits); and just dove straight in.
As you’d expect, the storyline is not gonna stress the grey-matter too much. But there’s plenty of action, enuff of a plot to hang it on and I for one was pleasantly surprised by the overall treatment. What I found refreshing, for a film of the beat-em-up/shoot-em-up genre, was how they edited out the unnecessary details.
For example the opening scene for our hero, Luke Wright (Statham), shows him about to throw down in a cage fight. But they immediately cut to after the fight; showing the effect on his opponent and the impact on Wright’s life itself. (Sure we could’ve watched the fight, but it wouldn’t have added to the plot).
When Wright incurs the wrath of the Russian Mafia, his wife bears the initial brunt and again, we’re spared the gory details and focus only on the effect on Wright himself. Whilst the cookie-cutter bad guys make their threats and promises, Wright just sits there numb and zoned out. (Ain’t he gonna kick ass? What kinda action flick is this)?
It takes a while for the plot and Wright’s character to unfold. But anyone who crosses his path ultimately realizes what a monumental mistake they’ve made. They’re definitely f***in’ with the wrong hombre. (Yeh! Now that’s what I came here to see!…;o)
I won’t spoil the movie by revealing too much of the plot. But I got what I expected out of the deal. Plus, found there were enough subtle plot twists, careful editing and varied pace to make it work. Wright kills whoever deserves killing, spares those that don’t and dispatches bad guys with sufficient variety, using whatever tools are at his disposal.
Even the showdown with what promises to be ‘the-bad-guy-to-beat-all-bad-guys’ at the end of the movie was done with style. In the arcade age in which we find ourselves, action flicks often tend to f*** up the pacing. They’ll have our hero dispatch 10 baddies without breaking a sweat; only to take a good 30 minutes to take care of Mr. Big (by the skin of his teeth).
I’ll say no more, save to give the movie a rating of 4 out of 5. Great night’s entertainment for yours truly and if you’re a Statham fan, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it too. Peace out…