Review: Safe House

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Posted February 11th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Safe House finds a young and inexperienced CIA operative (Ryan Reynolds) caught up in a situation where he must protect a dangerous fugitive in his custody (Denzel Washington) from those who are actively trying to kidnap him. Though it does avoid the “bonding” that might be expected that also leaves the characters feeling underdeveloped and detached while the conspiracy angle driving the events is ultimately predictable.¬†

Denzel playing a bad guy can be extremely entertaining – here though it’s not only difficult to root for him (he’s just not particularly interesting despite how the character is described by those in the film) but also for the “good guy” in Reynolds who the audience really never has reason to invest in or believe in.

The action is decent but unspectacular – but without an emotional investment in what is happening it all falls somewhat flat and lacking of suspense. The story just isn’t strong enough to evoke anything more than that. There is some question built around the motives of the one character and the fate of the other depending on how things develop but even those things never feel completely established or satisfyingly resolved. A girlfriend character is also tossed in seemingly just to get across the common message that CIA agents can’t have real relationships given that she serves no other purpose.

Safe House is mildly entertaining but never achieves anything beyond that. It’s¬†mediocre action film that offers nothing new beyond two charismatic leads going through the motions.

Rating: ★★½☆☆