Another branded performance by Jason Statham in a bit Asian style fighting and chasing flick with some nice surprises.
Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Jason Statham
Budget: 30 million | Box office: 30 million (5 weeks)
From Wikipedia: typecasting – the process by which a particular actor becomes strongly identified with a specific character; one or more particular roles; or, characters having the same traits. There is probably no better example of this definition than Jason Statham. From the cool episodic roles in Guy Ritchie movies, to big solo debut in Transporter, erratic Crank and so on, Jason Statham became like a brand – you always know what to expect from his movies. And that makes it boring without even starting to watch.
I skipped his last few films just because of that, but the latest Safe had another interesting name, which promised at least some difference from the usual formula. Lawrence Bender was a long time producer for Quentin Tarantino movies and I will gladly watch anything even remotely connected with Kill Bill. Director (and writer, which always is a good thing) Boaz Yakin is interesting for such movie too – his biggest work was a script for Prince of Persia. That Kevin Spacey was involved in the production didn‘t hurt either.
Safe structure and pacing reminds a typical Hong Kong action movie, where a few parties become involved in the war over something important. This time the centerpiece, surprisingly, is a little Chinese girl, who knows something that Chinese gangsters, Russian mafia and the NYC police want. And the only thing stopping them is, of course, Statham‘s retired elite police officer character.
Well, at least that much is given in the beginning and although a secret behind the reason why everybody needs this girl is not really interesting, the movie manages to show some small but amusing surprises on the way. It‘s cool that there is not much talking – there is no time for that. I really like this kind of real time action, in this regard it reminded me a bit underrated great picture 16 Blocks. I would have liked more varied fight scenes, which were crafted by the same guys from awesome Haywire, but even as they look tough, there‘s nothing much new except for some fun stuff in the latest parts of the movie.