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MOVIE REVIEW: 'Safe House' Plays It Very Safe

Two incredible lead actors aren't enough to make anything but average.

"Safe House" didn't have to be so safe and boring, and it's sad because with such phenomenal actors (both main and supporting) and unique location, it could have been much more.

But, it instead it takes the route of the action movie, with a just a few too many car chases and shootouts and not enough time for the interaction between the two main players to become all that compelling.

The story begins in Cape Town, South Africa, where a young CIA operative named Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) acts as the guardian of a safe house. Weston is predictably bored with such a remote and uneventful assignment, but his superiors don't seem in a hurry to change his situation.

Of course, everything changes when a rogue ex-CIA agent Tobin Frost, wonderfully played by Denzel Washington, seeks refuge in the American Embassy and is soon transferred to the Weston's safe house. Soon, the team which accompanied Frost is killed, and Weston is forced to go on the run with him.

The movie quickly deteriorates from there. I don't know who decided that shaky video was a sign of a semi-realistic action movie, but I hope filmmakers figure out that a technique that makes it harder to see what's going on in busy (you know, action) scenes is a bad idea.

The movie proves once again that you can have too much of a good thing, since the action scenes take too much away from what should be the main focus: the interaction between menacingly intelligent Frost and the naive yet shrewdly determined Weston.

That said, the actors do an amazing job with the bland material they're given, helped by a supporting cast that includes Vera Farmiga and Brendan Gleeson.

If only they were given better material to work with, this could have been a movie akin to Collateral. Instead, it's likely to be as forgettable as Battle: Los Angeles.

Rating: C-

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Tommy_Boy February 16, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Hi Andrea, I saw your comment on my blog post... I'm looking forward to reading some of your reviews... We'll have to find a "Theater in the middle" and do a "duo review" one of these weeks... Best of luck with your blog!! (Watch for my review of "Contraband" tomorrow. :-)
A Reel Of One's Own February 16, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Cool....watch for my review of Chronicle in the next few days!!!! Hey, maybe we could coordinate or something so we don't review the same movies.
A Reel Of One's Own February 16, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Also, here's a few links I think you might like: http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/
Tommy_Boy February 16, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I would agree, but I'm not sure we have the same readers?? I've got Contraband this week I was planning on seeing Safe House as well but you've already done it. Not sure if I'll review that or not now. I was also planning on doing a review of the "3D" of The Phantom Menace... Everyone already has an opinion of the movie, I wanted to just review the 3D content...
A Reel Of One's Own February 17, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Sure, I'm not planning on seeing The Phantom Menace.

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