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Safe

September 9, 2012

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Safe does something strange. it establishes a character and his motivations. You understand why he is running around NYC beating people up. However, it quickly ditches all of the development and focuses on Jason Statham hurting Russians, Chinese and corrupt cops.

Statham plays Luke Wright. Wright was a cage fighter who accidentally put a guy in a coma during a rigged fight. His foible got his family  murdered and life destroyed. He is banished to poverty and he walks around NYC looking depressed and wearing a fantastic skull-cap.

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One day he rescues a genius girl who is being chased by the same people who killed his family. He saves her via many head kicks and is able to protect her, get revenge and wear slick suits.

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Safe is a vehicle for Statham to suplex, throat punch and liver kick hundreds of bad guys. Eventually, the plot moves away from redemption and towards gun fights and getting 30 million from a safe. That is where the movie lost me and I’m not quite certain what the rest of the plot was. I’m pretty certain Russians wanted the Chinese out but the corrupt cops were playing both sides and then everybody dies.

Statham has 28 films rated on Rotten Tomatoes. Safe ranks number seven with a 57% rating . The biggest problem is that all of his other higher ranked films (Lock Stock, Snatch, The Bank Job, Italian Job, Expendables 2)  sans Crank 1&2 (because they are bonkers) showcase Stathams acting ability. The dude is funny. He doesn’t need to be running around cities punching people in the face and looking depressed. I think producers got the idea of a morose Statham after the success of Transporter. However, Transporter featured creative action and a stoic hero without baggage and skull caps. The fights perfectly showcased his skills and featured this scene.

Safe packs in the action but forgets about character. I’m hoping Statham works with Guy Ritchie again. Guy discovered Jason and knows how to blend his comedic and face kicking skills. The movie is a step in the right direction though. It is much better than Mechanic and Transporter 3 but makes you want to watch Snatch or Lock Stock to be reminded that this dude can act as well as he front kicks Russians.

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