SAFE HOUSE is a gritty, R-rated action-thriller that pits inexperienced CIA operative Ryan Reynolds against once proud but now rogue agent Denzel Washington.
Their location: a safe house off the grid in Cape Town, South Africa where Reynolds is holding Washington who’s in possession of some heavy duty agency secrets that must be protected at all cost.
But when the you-know-what hits the fan—an attack on the safe house—the unlikely duo is forced to escape and make their way through the deadly underground. All while Reynolds is trying to keep Denzel from taking a hike.
But make no mistake, everbody betrays everybody in this movie.
You’ll have to pay close attention or you could become hopelessly lost. But if it’s stark violence you’re seeking, SAFE HOUSE delivers. Or as Washington puts it: "You do what you have to do."
Consider yourself forewarned.
And if you’re the type of person who’s easily bothered by motion sickness, I recommend you to take a couple of pills prior to showing up at the theatre. Seems like almost the entire movie was filmed using hand-held cameras and it was driving me nuts.
I get that It makes the scenes feel more realistic, but what we’ve got with SAFE HOUSE is a bad case of hand-held OVERKILL. God, how I wanted to buy a tripod for Swedish born director Daniel Espinosa. He was giving me an Excedrin headache.
Thankfully the era of the shaky camera seems to be near an end, but Espinoza apparently didn’t get the memo.
On a positive note, Espinosa chose an excellent supporting cast for the film including Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Robert Patrick and Sam Shepard.
SAFE HOUSE makes for nearly 2 hours of non-stop action. And with the agency corruption going down in it, it definitely won’t pass for a CIA promo film. I score it 3-1/2 out of 5 tense fingers.
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday’s at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ AM & FM / Friday’s at 8:20 a.m. on 1660 RADIO BACH / And anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND.