Movie Review: Safe

Jason Statham, you’re killing me, man. You’re killing me.

If you read my Homefront review, my Transporter review, and/or my Transporter 2 review, you know that Jason Statham has my utmost respect. He does his own stunts, he’s got a great work ethic, constantly plays anti-heroes. He’s just got it all. If there was a problem with Jason Statham, it would be that either A) his agent is incompetent or B) Statham doesn’t know how to say no to a role.

Me personally, I’m more likely to go with the former because I think too much of Statham. With that said, Safe was…..

This little Asian girl running around and being all super-smart at school and getting sent to a better school so…

Statham’s Luke Wright is a UFC fighter who wins a match he was supposed to lose, angering the Russian mafia and….

She can do math for a crime syndicate while her mother is…

Wright finds tragedy when he gets home when he finds out the mafia have killed his…

In the hospital.

That’s super-annoying isn’t it, when I don’t finish my sentences and I keep jumping to different topics? It’s like you’re trying to watch a movie in a theater and this annoying 7-year old won’t shut his mouth, interrupting every conversation with different gurgles, chuckles and comments.

I’m a patient person. I’ve worked retail. Patience is a requirement for such work. However, this film does not know what scene, time period, or location to focus on. There are three time changes and at least three location changes in the first 15 minutes! Make up your mind!

I already hate the movie at this point and it’s only been 15 minutes. I’ve watched some pretty bad movies, but only a select few of the 100+ movies I’ve reviewed have caused me such nagging irritation at the outset. It was worse than living in the woods for a week with no bug spray and that’s pretty miserable in my mind.

Safe, ironically, is anything but safe in its premise, characters, or viewer experience. Plot inconsistencies in this film are more common than fast-food restaurants.

Some of them are “go with it” elements that I’d be surprised if most people would actually go with and others I think are there just to spite the audience. For example, our Asian girl in this film has a photographic memory. There’s a scene where a list of numbers, at least five lines long, is put in front of her. I kid you not, the paper had just touched the table and she said she had it memorized already. YOU DID NOT YOU LIAR!!! NOT EVEN A PHOTOGRAPHER COULD HAVE GOTTEN ALL THOSE!

It’s things like this that get me especially angry. I know you’re trying to move the film along but how much time did you really cut out by crossing into the boundary of falsity? Five, ten seconds?

The action scenes are futile compared to Statham’s other work yet the only entertainment this film offers.

Statham’s Luke Wright is so one-note and underdeveloped that describing him as a character does an injustice to the word. I think the more appropriate term would be “scribble”, or perhaps “mistake”. I truly can’t comment on Statham’s acting  because I’m not sure he even does any here. He wanders around and eventually punches a few people in the throat and shoots a few in the head, all for the sake of a little Asian girl who he wants to save for a reason that is called plot convenience.

Catherine Chan stars as Mei and I hope she never acts again and makes any more of an embarrassment out of herself because….*deep breath*… she is insipid- without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities. Is this all her fault? No, but her inability to unleash emotional output or humanistic tendencies aside from closing her eyes and putting her hands over her ears is incredibly childish and simple.

Director Boaz Yakin should never have been given the pen for this film. This script would not have worked as a book, magazine excerpt or short story. It is an incommunicable assembly of words, that’s it. No other distinction or title can be given to this rancid work, if you can even call it work. He also, based off Safe, does not know of the phrase “character development”.

Despite all that, I will say Yakin had a larger political agenda he was trying to dive into with this, especially the corruption of the police and leadership heads, but if you want to talk about that alone, write a book or an article. If you want to make a movie detailing your thoughts, you’ve got to write a plot.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(Red Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los Angeles)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Hansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeedGodzilla(1998))

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Planet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice, The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (X-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (WatchmenClash of the TitansA Haunted House 2Open GraveAlien 3)

My score for Safe: 19.

Statham is still one of my favorites, but his uselessness in Safe cannot be overstated. Careless acting and negligent writing by themselves make this film intolerable and that’s without including the unoriginal stunt choreography, deprecating dialogue and overbearing political aspiration into the equation.

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