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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Sept 6: Safe


Sept 6: Safe

"Mei, a young girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code, finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob, and corrupt NYC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei's trail."
Directed by: Boaz Yakin, Rated: R, 94 minutes

Jason Statham has always been (and probably will always be) an actor I watch in anything. I know he doesn't have the greatest intelligence when it comes to picking the movies he's in, but damn, can he be entertaining. With Safe, a calmer approach to his testosterone man-rages, Statham manages to show that he really is this generation's action star and can do wonders when given a gun and a fight choreographer. Safe also manages to be incredibly violent, sans gore, and racks up one of the largest body counts in recent memory. 

Street clothes = cool, suit (later on)= motherf**king badass

In a way, Safe is almost like Statham's version of Leon the Professional. There's a young girl at the heart of the story that needs protecting and he feels it's up to him to save her. Of course, this is just touched upon and the real motive behind what Statham does is money, but you can see similar themes in the two films. The plot follows Luke Wright (Statham), a cage-fighting boxer who accidentally takes out an opponent he was supposed to take a dive to. He actually puts the guy in a coma (with one punch) and pisses off a lot of people, including the Russian mafia who had money on him losing. Meanwhile, Mei, a young girl who's a genius with numbers, holds a combination to a safe inside her memory, and is used as a little tool for the Triads. After the Russian mafia hears of this, they pursue the young girl, who escapes and crosses paths with Luke. Luke realizes he needs to do some good in his life and decides to protect her and gets involved in the chase for the codes. On their tail is not only the Triads and Russian mafia, but a bunch of dirty cops as well, some of whom actually used to work with Luke. Yeah, he used to be a cop. 


As I mentioned, the action in this movie is the best part. Statham, who's known for his beat-downs with his fists and feet, utilizes a gun much more often in Safe. And being the badass he is, every one of his shots are perfect and on the mark (or head, or chest, or arm, or leg) and he kills hundreds (I mean that) of Russians, Triads, and dirty cops. At first, you think nothing of it, but as more and more bodies pile up, you see that number reaching ridiculous heights. And while I'm no expert in guns or what not, Safe features (what I think to be) very realistic gun 'mechanics' and sound effects. Or it really just could be that the guns and props around him rise above the occasion to impress such a badass. Who knows, but either way, it's awesome. 

Everything in this scene is 100x cooler with Statham around. I mean, look at that f**king gun. Sweet baby Jesus, it's a star. 

Now, Safe isn't perfect by any means. It's a run-of-the-mill action story that's elevated with Statham's presence and his ability to dish out a hell of a lot of beatings. The story has its smart moments, as well as a handful of well-acted supporting characters, but so much of the reasoning behind it is just too stupid to ignore. The little girl is used instead of a computer, because she's not "traceable" (say the Triads), yet the fact you trust someone that young with access to millions and millions of dollars makes absolutely no sense. In the end though, I'd still recommend Safe for what it is and suggest at least renting, especially if you're a fan of The Stath. 

The Good:
great action sequences led by the gloriously badass Jason Statham
The Bad:
nothing in the plot elevates the story to memorable
The Ugly:
the reasoning by trusting a girl with all of the Triad's bank accounts and information, knowing full well she's just a scared little girl 

Overall: 6.9/10


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At September 7, 2012 at 7:39 AM , Blogger Sati. said...

Awesome review! I'm definetly seeing this one, Statham is so awesome I'll watch anything for him.

At September 7, 2012 at 9:10 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Thanks! As will I lol. He's just too fun to ignore.

At September 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM , Blogger Mavi said...

I love the Statham, and I just caught Collateral again because of you guys at as you watch, and didn't realise he was in it at the start.

But I dont think he has much choice in his roles I just think this is all he is being offered.. he may have worked himself into being type cast, which is a little sad, I would like to see him given something a little different.

At September 9, 2012 at 10:45 PM , Blogger Nick said...

We were just talking about him actually, and saying that with Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels shows he has what it takes to be much more than an action star. I think he works better with other stars and needs to be in movies where he's not the only "big" name.


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