Jason Statham resumes the character of hard man turned good in this non-stop actioner. Playing Luke Wright, a former elite cop and cage fighter, his life is transformed when a mistake in the cage subsequently ruining a betting fix. All parties are out for someone to blame and so Luke ends up paying an unimaginable price. Meanwhile in China – the female protaganist, refreshingly for an action film, isn’t a love interest. She’s a young genius chinese girl called Mei (played by Catherine Chan) who’s being used as a pawn by some Triads for her unique powers of memorisation. Mei has to grow up quickly going from innocent schoolgirl in China to a wily teenager who’s become fluent in English after only one year, can navigate black market business and underworld politics. Did I mention she’s a genius? Soon, every dodgy faction in entire city is after both Luke and Mei and there isn’t anyone with the power to help.
The title works on two levels, luke and mei’s seemingly hopeless search for safety and a series of actual safes that hold the key to their protection. Directed by Boaz Yakin, Safe stars Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke, Chris Sarandon and Anson Mount.
As you can imagine, Statham’s an old hat at screen fighting so pulls off the character of Luke Wright convincingly. He brings a dry humour to the role and delivers jokes with ease and natural comic timing. Chan is adorable and impressively acts in both Mandarin and English. She brings heart and humour to the piece, lightening up what would be just another action film without her character.
The fight choreograhy deserves a special mention, cleverly put together and making full and amusing use of props when brawls take place in ordinary locations, it definately works in creating gasps and cringes from the audience. The cinematography is as slick as you would expect of a film with an estimated $27m. Plot wise, the story consistently reveals so many double crossers and twists that it’s sometimes difficult to keep up, there are some moments where it was a little confusing as to why certain people are killed but the action moves at such a rapid speed you don’t really have time to dwell on it. Most of the acting was superb with the exception of one or two characters but on the whole it’s a thoroughly enjoyable film.
Safe‘s quick pace and rapid toing and frowing between action, dry humour and heart makes the film an enjoyable watch. There’s very little to complain about but the film feels like it was created with money in mind rather than any pressing need to tell the story. It’s the perfect film to watch if you want to be entertained and you don’t feel like having to use your brain too much.
Safe is released on 4th May UK and 27th April USA.