Filled with good acting ensemble, film nevertheless is made in a horrible matter.
In the short and colorful history of mankind there have been numerous instances when someone thought of a random idea to be a good decision at a time, but instead should never have materialized in a first place – Mayans shouldn’t have greeted Spaniards with gold, Trojans should have left the “horse” alone, “Arrested Development” should have never been cancelled. Unfortunately, its in a human nature to overthink and overanalyze anything we can put our hands on, so as the result “Safe House” was made and was granted a wide release.
Film, a mixture of all the action movies you and I have seen before, tells a story of a rogue CIA operative Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) who is trying to conduct some kind of secret trade in South Africa (man, why do rogue operatives select these kind of places?) with another rogue MI6 operative, which includes some secret crazy looking microchip (well, they always look crazy nowadays, don’t they?), which by a surprising coincidence is also wanted by a group of other secret rogue assassins or whoever they are trying to be. Anyways, so Mr.Frost, fleeing from these people, has only one exit strategy – entering local US Embassy and surrendering, so that US government can take care of him and save him from whoever is chasing him. He is transported overnight to the nearest “safe house” – another secret location mainly used for interrogations, which is operated (you will never guess!) by a rookie CIA operative Matthew Weston (Ryan Reynolds), who has been babysitting empty walls and basically rotting there for last year due to very little action and who has (oh my god!) a girlfriend who doesn’t suspect anything about his secret objective. And well as you might guess the safe house is attacked by the bad guys again, and everyone starts wondering “mmm, there must have been a rat in CIA!”.
I do love action movies. I really do. And I always look for the action movies. Seeing incredible amount of trailers/teasers/tv spots of Denzel Washington being a badass, and being fed with the thought that when Mr.Washington plays good he is good, but when he plays bad he is even better, you would think that a prolific supporting cast including Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson, Robert Patrick, and, what the hell, Vera Farmiga should make any film good, but boy this movie doesn’t get any help from them even a bit. And even Denzel Washington delivers probably the worst performance of his career. He is supposed to be badass rogue operative, in reality I was just yawning and waiting for him to do ANYTHING badass.
And then there is directing. I really don’t know where did they find this director Daniel Espinosa, but he tries to jump over his head to make everyone say “wow what a director”. Its an action movie, man, do it properly. There’s not a single steady shot, camera moves in all directions, there’s always someone passing by in front of camera, which with very very very shallow depth of field creates such a blurry image in the foreground and background. Every shot is a close up. Of faces and what not. Sometimes all you see in the action sequence looks really like a footage from Transformers. It also sounds like it. I know gunshot should sound like gunshot – big and noisy, but hell my ears were hurting already. And grain, oh so many of it. I know, degrading a picture quality so that it looks cinematic is a common practice, but why oh why did you do it so much?
Save you time and money. Don’t watch this failure.