Safe House

Ryan Reynolds is absolutely irresistible. He’s one of my favorite actors, not only because of his devastatingly good looks, but also because he can put himself into any role and pull it off. He’s the hilarious guy stuck in the “friend zone” (Just Friends); then he’s the blazing action hero (Blade: Trinity, X-Men Origins: Wolverine). He can do anything, and do it well. The same is true for his newest flick Safe House.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Safe House features a young CIA agent, Matt Weston (Reynolds) dreaming of experiencing the real action that comes with being a CIA agent. Currently he can’t get out of the South African safe house where he has been inactively waiting for a shot to prove himself. Suddenly, he is given the chance when CIA fugitive Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is escorted into the safe house, and it’s Weston’s job to watch him.

When the safe house is attacked, Weston is faced with the task of keeping tabs on Frost and making sure that he doesn’t escape CIA custody. Meanwhile, he is trying to escape with his own life from the clutches of the safe house’s intruders. Reynold’s rapid transformation from the scared, fresh-out-of-the-gate agent, into the genius super-hero he turns out to be, was well done and believable. He snaps into action when needed, and his ideas for escape are pretty good for a guy who’s never been out of his secluded safe house.

Denzel Washington is a marvel of his own in his role as Tobin Frost. He is calm, cool and collected throughout the movie, just as you would expect a genius who outsmarts the CIA to be. Let’s face it — there’s nothing Washington can’t do.

The action in the movie was nearly as good as the acting. There were twists and turns, and I never really knew what was coming around the corner, especially with all of the tricks Frost has up his sleeve in his attempt to evade CIA custody. Major gun battles, fight scenes and high-speed chases riddle the movie, making it a quality action flick. It’s the dream action movie, even with a few comical moments (which you can expect from the leading actors).

At first, I wasn’t able to tell where the movie was set. The city terrain was so similar to America’s, with streets like ours (except for that the cars were travelling in the wrong direction) and buildings with English on them (among other languages that I didn’t recognize) that I couldn’t even tell the city was in South Africa. I had never really seen pictures of the modern-day African country, so the movie gave me an outlook on it, and how in some ways it’s identical to American cities. Also, the image of the slums that some of the scenes were set in were depressing in a way, with small, boxy houses made of thin, barely held together, metal sheets. This helped me get a feel for what some of the country is really like.

Ever since I saw Reynolds’s face in the trailer of Safe House, I wanted to see it. I knew it couldn’t be terrible if he was in it (with the exception of the Green Lantern, which was obviously a fluke). Safe House lived up to my expectations in full.

4 out of 5 stars