Jason Statham is back in Safe doing what he does he does best, kicking some butts and killing some bad men. It seems that is what most of his fans want to see. His last film, Killer Elite, was more of an ensemble film and light on the expected Jason Statham violence. If you are looking for a more typical Jason Statham flick, Safe would be it.
Statham plays Luke Wright, a man of many talents. He is a fighter and was a policeman at one point. Something gets botched in the last fight Luke was in, resulting in a serious betting loss by some Russian mobsters. They come after Luke, killing his wife, and continue to threaten his life and everyone he meets. Something happens when he sees a little girl being chased on the subway by those very same Russians. He bursts into action to save the girl, putting himself in the middle of a war between the Chinese and Russian mobsters and the corrupt police and mayor.
The little girl is special. Mei (Catherine Chan) is a mathematical genius who has a knack for doing all calculations in her head and memorizing numbers instantly. She becomes a valuable instrument for the Chinese mobsters. It all comes to a head when she is asked to memorize a long, complicated number. She is kidnapped for the number, but makes her escape somehow and Luke comes to the rescue.
Make no mistake; this is an action flick with lots of violence. This is not a film that is going to make you think about what is happening in the plot. It is purely for the audience to have a good time and enjoy the ride. In the screening I attended, the audience loved all of the action. They reacted loudly to the cooler looking stunts and kills, and there are many of them in the last half of the film. It has been a while since I have been in a screening with that type of reaction.
Safe has a pretty good cast with Statham and Chan supported by Chris Sarandon, Robert John Burke, James Hong, and Anson Mount. The audience is coming to the film for Statham and the violence and action, not the cast members. However, I found it to be a pretty good smattering of less prominent actors who fit the bill for their characters.
The film struck me as somewhat unique with how the beginning of the film is shot. It starts in the present day and then goes backward in both Mei and Nick’s pasts to events that led up to where they both meet on the subway. The editing in this sequence is very cool with the scenes being cut together in a way that they fluidly meld with each other with quick cuts. There are also some shots in the film that focus on the side and rear view windows of cars that I thought were visually cool to see.
If you want action, violence, and some kick ass fighting, Safe is a film you want to see. While the plot is less than unique, with Statham coming to the rescue of a little girl, I have a feeling that the targeted audience for the film just want to be entertained. Safe certainly is entertaining and not half bad. Do not think too hard on this one and just enjoy the action-packed ride.
I give Safe 3 “Dinner plates as deadly weapons” out of 5.