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Movie Review: "Safe"

"Safe" (Lionsgate)

First off let me say I am a big Jason Statham fan. I have been from the days of “Transporter,” “Cellular” and “The Italian Job.” In my opinion he is the go to man for action adventure movies and in his latest, “Safe,” he does not disappoint. This film moves at breakneck speed from beginning to end, but also manages to eke out a sweet story of his character as a protector for a fascinating young Chinese girl. Still the main draw is Statham and he delivers everything you want in an action hero.

Statham plays Luke Wright, an ex-cop reduced to cage fighting whose life is on a downward slide. It gets so bad that Luke is on the verge of jumping in front of a subway train. What stops him is the appearance of Mei (Catherine Chan) who is being pursued by a group of malevolent men who look like they want to do her harm. Luke cancels his suicide plans and goes forward to protect Mei and the film never slows down from this point.

Statham has a solid supporting cast in this film. Aside from the precociously adorable Chan he also has an ominous performance by Robert John Burke as a crooked Police Captain. Then there is Chris Sarandon creating an uncomfortable portrait of an oily politician, and Anson Mount being dead on as his vindictive assistant. These actors all add to the credibility of what is happening on screen and are each and every one an essential element of the movie.

It falls on Statham however to create a hero who seems capable of doing what he does in the action arena. When there are six men up against him and he defeats them all, you believe it. When he is driving down the streets of New York with Mei pushed down in the side seat and bullets flying all around them, you believe it. And when at the start of the movie he is hurt and vulnerable, you believe that too.

Chan makes a perfect accomplice for him in the movie. She projects the strange ability to collect information in her head and retain it. Mei is a walking computer and with Chan playing the role you can understand and accept her abilities.

The movie is rated R for violence and profanity.

When a movie draws you into its story and its action sequences then it is on the right track. Still it has to have the right actor to pull it all together. Jason Statham does just that. All of his movies are good. “Safe” is one of his best.

I scored “Safe” a protected 7 out of 10.

Photo courtesy of: Lionsgate

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