English Title: Safe.
Production: USA, 2011.
Release Date: 18.11.2011 (Ireland), 27.04.2012 (USA).
Russian Distributor: UPI (26.04.2012).
Genres: Action / Drama / Criminal / Thriller.
Director: Boaz Yakin.
Starring: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke.
Running Time: 94 minutes.
While the Russian mafia in the Safe film is struggling for influence with the already corrupt police officers, The Triads are moving in to reap their own benefits. Their group is ruled from Asia by the cruel Han Jiao. This important role in the story is played by James Hong, who even decided to improve his Mandarin Chinese language. His character kidnaps the little girl named Mei, which in her 12 years of age is brilliantly skilled in mathematics and memory training. She is due to become the Triad’s accountant overseas. For a young Catherine Chan has nearly become an obsession for her movie debut. Even before casting she told her parents that would hide all the weeks the title is shown worldwide in the wardrobe, if she wasn’t approved for the role.
On the other side of the ocean Mei is looked after by Quan Chang, where actor Reggie Lee is trying to show a caring father, who is still a Triads’ gangster being ready to kill the girl, if anything goes wrong. Filipino Lee and englishman Statham are almost the only guests from abroad among the whole cast. Mei’s memory is to be used during a criminal exchange transation, where she has to learn the safe codes. Though everything goes wrong, when the Russian mafia wants its slice of the pie and attacks their Asian competitors in the city. Then everyone would be happy to get rid of Mei not to make the money someone’s else trophey. The only native person around Mei at this time is Ling performed by Danni Lang. When the girl suddenly gets into the mortal danger, she meets Luke Wright making her his goal to survive further after losing everything important.
Now his main wish is to protect her. For this to happen he will stop at nothing, while breaking into the wasp’s nest, feeding all the gangsters around with bullets, fists and forks taken around expensive hotels, upscale restaurants and underground nightclubs. At the same time, Luke Wright from the Safe movie stays focused on his mission, and doesn’t try to clean up the city from crime anymore. That is why, he is ready to enter alliances with gangs, while doesn’t plan to grab other’s property and fights only, when it is necessary. This emotional dramatic aspect is one of the cool things about this action movie incorporating some dramatic traits, in addition to the usual chases and shootouts.
The stunts are budget ones, but the director’s vision of Boaz Yakin, the editing of Frederic Thoraval, who worked on the Taken (2008) thriller, and sets by Joseph C. Nemec III provide the effect of the intense flavor to the story. The film also shows notable camera work by Stefan Czapsky from Germany, who used an alternative technique of filming the action from different angles with several cameras at the same time, showing the events from various sides.
This idea worked, and together with the music by Mark Mothersbaugh all the 94 minutes of the Safe script are running fast till the unexpected final duel. This composter in the past created soundtracks for the video games like The Sims 2: Pets (2006) and MySims (2007), as well as scored the recent Comedy Action flick titled 21 Jump Street (2012). His tunes are rising up the tension, while still relying on some electronic rhythms. By the way, this motion picture will open the DetectiveFEST International Film Festival in Moscow on the 25th of April, 2012.
The Safe film is an Action movie testing further Jason Statham’s acting talent in a slightly new direction, where his character doesn’t hit anything that moves anymore. His Luke Wright even tries to avoid the unnecessary fighting, if possible to lessen the casualties. In his successful duo with young Catherine Chan, who basically played a child caught up in the middle of the trouble, he proclaims her his life goal, while still providing some verbal jokes without losing the usual brutality. The abundance of characters in this film is confusing at first, but then Screenwriter and Director named Boaz Yakin puts everything in its place presenting a complex criminal story filled with some intrigues and dynamic scenes following the scenery backgrounds of New York and Philadelphia, which are shining from all the different light palettes.
Movie Score by GameScope:
8.0 / 10