Daily News header

Safe House Movie Review

By     get stories by email

A movie title describing just about anything but, Safe House is an exceedingly hyperactive CIA cat and mouse, odd couple espionage thriller. And - its bone crunching, audience wincing violence aside - a strikingly choreographed, if strangely involving yarn.

Ryan Reynolds is Matt Weston in Safe House, a bored out of his mind junior CIA agent, stuck in a slacker holding pattern in Cape Town, South Africa. Which, according to the creative lingo that always surfaces with the CIA in such movies, is a designation known as 'housekeeper.'

Meanwhile, by chance, dashing about the streets of the same city in strictly free lance undercover mode, is infamous CIA turncoat Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington), a quietly fierce master trickster who has eluded capture for nearly a decade. And who is accused of peddling all sorts of state secrets to the highest international bidders.

When a hit on the rogue operative and ensuing shootout with possible dissatisfied customers transpires in broad daylight, Frost for a change dashes to the local CIA hopefully safe haven, rather than as far away from them as possible. Brutally remanded to an interrogation facility at the movie's safe house in question, Frost, aka 'the guest' is bound and water boarded to force him to disclose information. A procedure which stuns naive novice Weston and leads him to exclaim, is that legal?

Not to worry, the sinister session is interrupted by a safe home invasion of mysterious machine gun toting, designated villains intent on killing Frost. After which the multi-talented poker-faced perp easily slips away, aka 'off the reservation,' with Weston in endless hot pursuit. Until the unlikely pair in perpetual negative chemistry mode, tentatively team up to repel a potentially even greater threat. Aka, 'Can you trust your landlord?'

Safe House is directed by Daniel Espinosa, the Swedish based offspring of Chilean refugees fleeing CIA installed dictator, Augusto Pinochet. And a tidbit of information not without relevance in these matters at hand.

And shedding an enigmatic light on quite an elephant in this safe room, in the course of all these vast, bullet dodging, brilliantly executed chase episodes - including hugely populated crowd scenes among a soccer stadium crowd, and what looks like a heated Occupy movement protest. Namely, what exactly is the CIA doing running around on all this multiple foreign turf, shooting thoughtlessly into crowds and conducting random target assassinations.

All of which lends the proceedings in Safe House a remarkable breadth and tone, despite often typical assorted mayhem. And intimating among all the boisterous beatdowns, some timely Wikileaks intimations as well.

Universal Pictures
Rated R
3 stars

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Movie reviewer Kam Williams shares the top movies opening December 19, 2014 at theatres around the world!
Here are the must see and top Ten DVD releases for this week, including The Equalizer with Denzel Washington, This Is Where I Leave You, and Finding Your Roots.
Kam Williams gives mini-reviews of movies opening December 12, 2014, including Exodus: Gods and Kings, Inherent Vice, and Chris Rock in Top Five.
Ben Crump's considerable acumen as both a litigator and an advocate has ensured that those most frequently marginalized are protected by the nation's contract with its constituency.
A perilous, 1,100 mile journey proves to be a woman's salvation, giving her chance to conquer and battle the demons within herself.
They came together in 2004 to form the first women critics' organization in the United States, in the belief that women's perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully. And WFCC is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site