Safe. Jason Statham returns to the screen as basically the same character as The Transporter and Crank. But that’s awesome. He’s a tough and jaded anti-hero who’s done horrible things but now he finds himself wanting to save an innocent someone and get caught up in an adventure he could have avoided altogether pretty easily. Basic Statham formula.
But Safe is a perfect example of what Statham does best.
He stars as a down-on-his-luck former mixed-martial arts fighter who costs some important people a lot of money. His family is killed and now he’s forced to live in seclusion. He ends up running into a young Chinese girl who is a math genius and is being used by this Chinatown gang to memorize safe combinations. She’s memorized this combination and as soon as people find out, they want the girl. So Statham interferes and finds himself trying to protect this young girl against Chinese gangs, Russian mafia, and corrupt police officers.
The action here is top-notch. The smart choice is made here to hold off on Statham really going wild. The first chapter of the movie we see him as a beaten-down man who’s given up. Once he finds something to fight for, the gloves come off and it’s amazing. The fight scenes are innovative and creative and there are plenty of huge-scale gun fights to keep you on the edge of your seat. Most of you will see this movie because you’re a fan of either Statham or the genre of shoot-em-up action flicks. Both camps won’t be disappointed.
The budding friendship between Statham and young Mei (played by Catherine Chan) is immersive and believable. Even watching Statham make that first move to protect her is a cool moment. Will he? Won’t he? You can see the internal struggle. It’s a very cool moment. As the movie progresses, the two play well off each other and I think Chan has a definite future in the movies.
What doesn’t work?
Although the movie succeeds at what it aimed to do, it doesn’t do anything more. We don’t really see anything new or Statham try anything he hasn’t already done. My only complaint is that sometimes the script got a little confusing because there are so many forces at work. Trying to remember all the faces of the three opposing forces is daunting. There are a few reveals and betrayals and I had to think back and try to figure out who these people were but there were so many supporting characters that it became a bit muddy.
You know already if you’ll like Safe or not. If you want Jason Statham kicking ass and taking names, this is for you. There’s a cool friendship story between him and young Mei and the storyline walks a fine line between cliche and “tried and true” action flick. It’s not incredibly original but it’s entertaining for sure. If you want to head to the movies and have a fun night with plenty of action, this is a solid choice.