‘Safe House’ stands as action film staple

By BEN DAUBER
Movie Reviewer
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Courtesy of Collider.com
Ryan Reynolds has finally left his Van Wilder roots behind.

He and Denzel struck espionage silver in “Safe House.”

I say silver because although Reynolds created a believable CIA agent aura, he’s still no Jason Bourne.

Denzel, on the other hand, was predictably phenomenal as the enigmatic and extremely dangerous Tobin Frost, the ex- CIA double agent that drives the film.

Although the CIA double-crossing conspiracy film genre has been milked harder than any of us feel comfortable with, “Safe House” packs enough star power, shoot-outs and spy mystique to earn a solid B/B+.

If you sat down and really thought about the plot of this film you would realize that it’s predictable as all hell, but when actually watching, the star power and loud noises help you to forget about all that.

Reynolds is a rookie CIA agent (if there is such a thing) stationed in Cape Town, South Africa, when disavowed wanted man and ebony box office magician Denzel Washington lands in his lap.

What ensues is like a hybrid of “Training Day” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

That’s really the best way to describe it.

Denzel does his thing just like always.

Reynolds shows that he’s got some chops as he sheds a few tears and kicks a little ass.

The most rewarding aspect of the film is the sort of begrudging mentor-like relationship that develops between Reynolds and Washington.

For the most part, the film remains somewhat on the superficial side of entertainment (car chases, spy intrigue, etc.) but the director chose to delve a bit deeper when it came to the relationship between the two stars.

Although director Daniel Espinosa did not make his A-list debut with this fi lm, he did a very solid job handling both his actors and the spy-film context, which can easily become convoluted or just plain boring if you’re not careful.

The runtime of 115 minutes gives the fi lm adequate time to develop but doesn’t leave you running for the door when the credits roll like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the like.

The main success of the film is in moderation.

It had all the raw materials to make a solid fl ick, and Espinosa did a great job stepping aside and letting the story tell itself.

When it comes down to it, the fi lm delivers what it sets out to.

Excellent actors in a high-budget environment with some high caliber action and the added bonus of some character development make the film a solid Saturday night watch.

If you are fan of either actor, it’s a must see.

If you’re a fan of action, you’re gonna see it anyway.

And if you’re bored, then you should certainly consider seeing “Safe House.”