Safe House plays it safe with a tried-and-tested formula of a CIA espionage movie with a continuous string of explosive action scenes. Young CIA agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) does the humdrum job of house-sitting a CIA-operated safe house. Fed up with the lack of excitement and recognition, he cannot wait to be transferred out into the field. That is until he meets one of CIA’s most wanted – defector Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) – who has been brought to the safe house for intense interrogation. When the safe house comes under attack, Weston finds himself alone and on the run with his ‘house guest’ to the next presumably safe, safe house.
With all its shoot-outs, car chases and fist fights, Safe House would no doubt satisfy those with a palate for non-stop intense action. The location of Cape Town adds to the fun as we are brought from city streets to the rooftops of a shantytown to the highway and to the suburbs. Yet, the predictability of Safe House’s storyline weighs this movie down and to enjoy it all the way till the end, we were forced to focus on the action instead.
Not appreciated was also the irrelevant side plot concerning Weston’s love interest. It seems to have been created simply to add depth to Reynolds’ rather flat character. Although his character does eventually undergo development, it comes a little late and Weston is a character we find hard to sympathise with. We did what we could and got back to the action. To be fair, the dialogues between Weston and Frost were well interspersed among the action scenes, setting this high-speed movie at a comfortable pace that is easy to follow.
Extras: Several featurettes that stretches almost two hours, like Making Safe House, Behind the Action, Inside the CIA, Hand to Hand Action and others.
Film: 3/5 Extras: 3.5/5 stars