September 1, 2014
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Safe House
Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Good acting and action/weak story)

Denzel Washington is such a great actor, but even he cannot make Safe House a great movie.

Washington plays Tobin Frost, an American spy who has been on the run for 10 years and decides to come in from the cold. He turns himself in to CIA agents and is whisked to a safe house in South Africa that is run by Matt Weston, an untested, bored agent played by Ryan Reynolds.

No sooner has he settled in when a gang of unknown killers raid the place, killing everyone but Tobin and Matt, who escape in a wild car chase.

The movie is good when it deals with the relationship between Tobin and Matt, as the supposed traitor plays mind games with his naive captor, confusing him and eventually gaining his trust. The rest of the film is just another chase movie, with captor and captive on the run from the vicious gang, trying to make it to another safe house.

But are the safe houses safe? How do the bad guys and supposedly good guys from the CIA know where they are?

And have you ever seen a movie of this genre where there wasn't at least one crooked CIA agent?

There are too many ridiculous coincidences. In one case, Tobin makes it to the shantytown shack of an old ally, with Matt, the bad guys and the CIA all showing up about the same time. Come on!

There's an exciting scene at a soccer stadium, where Tobin escapes from Matt. Thousands of people filling the corridors, but Matt finds him. Come on again!

Lots of car and foot chases, gun fights and fist fights, leading to a brutal ending. If you like bloody action, you'll find plenty of it in Safe House. Unfortunately, it is at the expense of the actors.

Rated a big R, with violence and profanity.


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