Verdict: 3 / 5
Outside of The Expendables films, Jason Statham has had a rough time in Hollywood recently. His latest efforts, The Mechanic, Crank, Transporter 3 and Killer Elite, can all be declared flops. Suppress your yawn. Boaz Yakin’s Safe, an entertaining regular Joe’s meat-and-potatoes action flick, comes out with both barrels blazing.
Right from the very start of Safe the director eludes to something very different; a Jason Statham performance that requires a mix of emotion and raw physicality. On his knees, crushed by the murder of his wife and brutally attacked by Russian heavies, our hero sheds a tear. No CGI involved. This is the Brit action star channelling his most believable performance yet. Can this be the same guy who just months earlier charged his nipples with a car battery in the unfortunate Crank sequel?
In this one note action flick, a depressed cage fighter (Statham) finds purpose when he crosses the path of a young Chinese genius, Mei (Catherine Chan). For no apparent reason he decides to defend the girl who was kidnapped by Triads to keep track of their operations. So the story is a bit of stretch, but it’s quite entertaining watching the intense action sequences unfold. As the title so cleverly explains, Statham stumbles his way through defeating rival gangs from Asian and Russian mobs, all with purpose of keeping Mei – SAFE.
There is no moral to be learnt, no trickery, no clever gimmicks, Boaz Yakin is all about the lighting-fast, down-and-dirty action. If you’re a fan of classic 80s and 90s action pictures Safe should be right up your alley. It’s a wild fun, kick-ass killing spree with short pauses of dialogue – long enough for a toilet break or two.