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***Film Only Review***
So ever since I first watched Transporter a week or so ago I have decided Jason Statham is my new man crush. My sister is forever addicted to Netflix on her tablet so as I was off today I decided to see what the fuss was about and sign up for the free 1 month trial. It opened asking the genres of film I watched often or occasionally etc, and straight after this was a page of film recommendations. First that popped up that caught my eye was Safe so I immediately clicked on it and was transfixed for the remainder of the film! (Apart from occasionally pausing it to check dinner didn't burn!)
Jason Statham plays Luke Wright, a cagefighter who normally lets his opponents win, however in his last match he accidentally knocks out with one punch, costing a russian mob leader to lose a lot of money as he was betting on him losing. He is then paid a visit from the russians who kill his wife and ensure to make the rest of his life a misery - anyone he befriends will die. On the other side is young chinese girl Mei who has been smuggled into the country by the Chinese Triad as she has amazing arithmetic skill and memory. Having been in New York for over a year, she is under the lock and key of "Uncle Chan" until one day she is given a series of numbers to memorise. Enroute to find out another set of numbers she is taken by the russians who want whatever information she has. In the middle of our two clashing gang cultures are the corrupt police who are in the pockets of both and decide they want Mei for themselves as she must hold something important and valuable. Of course our sexy, fighting hero and the innocent but intelligent chinese girl collide and he does all he can to save her whilst getting the chinese off his back and perhaps even get some revenge with the russians all at the same time!
I actually quite enjoyed this film, despite the storyline having so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming! When the film first started, I have to say I could only think of it being almost identical to the first Transporter film only with a slightly older and much less annoying chinese girl as his sidekick. The film begins with a really fast pace and you are thrust into the storyline pretty much immediately and I was thoroughly intrigued and gripped the whole way through! Statham is still on top form as a man who goes about his business and really knows how to kick ass.
In terms of the action scenes it definitely came across that this film was much more guns and blood than in The Transporter where Statham's weapon of choice is usually his fist. Who knows, perhaps he is getting old or the scriptwriters/directors just didn't want me to see him without his top on as much so with that I was rather disappointed!
The acting from all the cast was really solid, and I saw a few familiar faces Reggie Lee (played Agent Kim in Prison Break) and Robert John Burke (plays Bart Bass in gossip girl) so this film felt really solid and credible in my opinion. Catherine Chan as Mei was particularly outstanding as a clever, witty chinese girl who knows what "business" is. Although together with Jason Statham they seemed a really odd pairing and had very little chemistry (or even scenes together!) they somehow worked well to keep the fragile glue of the film together so even with all the enemies after each other and all for this little girl the film managed to stay solid.
Overall it was a brilliant watch and I would thoroughly recommend watching it. It does bear rather a lot of similarities to The Transporter so it isn't tremendously original but for an action film it was entertaining for me and held my attention from start to finish so I can't ask for much more!
I had seen this advertised for a while and thought it was one I would like to see. Yesterday it was my birthday and because money is tight at the moment and also I am not particularly well we decided to rent a film and have a takeaway. I picked the film and when I know I will be watching something with my partner I do try to choose something that we will both like. We rented this from Blinkbox so this is a film only review.
Mei is a mathematical genius. Although she is only ten she has a mind like a calculator and on top of that a photographic memory. She is a sweet and quiet girl and she keeps her head down and when she notices her teacher has made an error in his calculations she points it out very politely and respectfully but sadly her classmates never see it this way and see it as an excuse to laugh at the teacher.
On the way back from school one afternoon, Mei is grabbed from her friends and is bundled into a car which drives off at high speed leaving the public shocked and confused. But who are these people and more importantly what do they want with Mei?
Mei is a sweet girl who was obviously designed to tug at your heartstrings. She is kind and caring and although very intelligent she never uses this to make others feel small. She loves her Mum very much and likes to spend time with her. We meet Mei before we meet any of the other main characters and this enables us as the audience to really love Mei and be on her side, wishing her well.
The plot flowed well and I found that I was hooked from the very beginning, it certainly wasnt one of those films that took a while to get going. The plot remained fast paced throughout and the film just focuses on one story which often I will get a little tired of due to the fact that stories are rarely interesting all of the time but this one really helped to keep my attention and I was absolutely desperate to find out what happened to Mei.
The acting in this film was very strong. Of course it stars Jason Statham and I was expecting the film to be very good because of this, I am pleased to say I was not disappointed and I thought that Jason Stathams character was well thought out and very likeable.
Some of the film is spoken in chinese and there are subtitles, initially I thought this would be a pain but it really wasnt and I actually think that the fact that some of it we could not verbally understand added to the tense feel of the film. It also ensured that you were always watching the screen to make sure you didnt miss anything.
This is a well thought out action film and I did actually really enjoy it as did my partner. It reminded me ever so slightly of Taken but as that is one of my favourite films I do have to say that I didnt think it was quite as good but nevertheless still very strong and interesting.
Safe was released in 2012.
It runs for 96 minutes.
It is rated a 15 in the UK due to numerous scenes of violence and also explicit language.
It stars Jason Statham.
It can be found on DVD for around £10.
Both me and my partner really enjoyed this film and I would definitely recommend it and I would watch it again too. It was action packed and had a gripping storyline. If you are looking for a gift to buy an action film fan this christmas then I dont think you could go far wrong with this offering!
Star - Jason Statham
Genre - Action
County - USA
Certificate - 15
Run Time - 94 minutes
Blockbusters - £3.50 per night
Amazon - £.11.99 DVD (£9.99 Blue Ray)
Well, there's no doubt about it, Jason Statham is rapidly becoming the new Steven Seagal, a string of moderate action success making him very wealthy but no stand out movie as yet. When will he have his Under Seige moment is the question, 'Safe', more Exit Wounds than Marked for Death. The Transporter trilogy has defined his man alone style that has no real time for the ladies (a sexual ambiguity that sells his movies to other markets) and plenty of time for kicking butt but he has yet to really own a movie. Saying that does he care? His film choices are non ambiguous at the best of times in that he doesn't chase awards or good scripts and simply counts the money, building a bespoke Statham Palace (probably from bricks made of gold) where Johnny Carson used to live on top of the Malibu cliffs as a statement of that intention. Is he literally playing it 'safe' with his career so that it doesn't all go away?
That aside he is a likeable and cool action hero on screen, and British too, his tongue-in-cheek action appeal making him such a bankable star to many different groups, a gay icon as he is a yummy mummy's fantasy. I rent all his movies, as I used to for Seagal, and we know with Statham and that knowing grin in his movies that he gets the joke with his career and we get to smile along with him because of that. This guy doesn't have a pretentious bone in his body, a body that women rather like; that rapidly receding hairline balding men of the world celebrate as they too can get the girls now under their beanie cap. Everyone likes The Stath!
Jason Statham ... Luke Wright
Catherine Chan ... Mei
James Hong ... Han Jiao
Sándor Técsy ... Emile Docheski
Joseph Sikora ... Vassily Docheski
Igor Jijikine ... Chemyakin
Reggie Lee ... Quan Chang
Robert John Burke ... Captain Wolf
James Colby ... Detective Mears
Matt O'Toole ... Detective Lasky
Jack Gwaltney ... Detective Reddick
Barry Bradford ... Detective Benoit
Jay Giannone ... Detective Kolfax
Anson Mount ... Alex Rosen
Chris Sarandon ... Mayor Tremello
After failing to throw a cage fight, brooding UFC fighter and ex cop Luke Wright (Jason Statham) is in trouble with the Russian mob, who are a million bucks down on the deal. But instead of killing him they do his misses and promise to kill anyone he talks to from now on, the plan to flush him out of New York and into oblivion for his sins. When he wakes up in a homeless hostel, the fellow he chatted to the night before stealthy having his throat cut, over a banal conversation who should have the cage fighter's sneakers, he realizes the mobsters are serious.
Also on the run from the mob is little Chinese orphan kid Mei (Catherine Chan), kidnapped by the Triads because she is a math's genius and ideal for their gambling operations in China Town, especially as she is able to remember a 24 digit code. But it's not only the Chinese after her, the same Russian mafia also interested in what's in her fragile little head. But Mei has slipped her fearsome captors and made it as far as the Metro, where Luke is about to throw himself under the train as he has had enough. But seeing her plight and familiar pursuers he decides saving her and kicking the ass of those pursuers is an ideal incentive to carry on living. But why is she so valuable to most of New York's villains and why do they want that code in her head? Fortunately for her, Luke Wright is no ordinary ex cop and exactly the right guy to run into when you are in an impossible bind.
'Safe'is by-the-numbers action stuff guys with its pedigree being editor Mark Goldblatt, the Oscar nominated editor on Terminator 2, possibly the greatest action movie ever made and one that has stood the test of time. Director Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans) here is still cutting his directing teeth and didn't quite have that budget so not looking to get carried away with the action sequences and so keeping it simple and uncomplicated, very much a post Bourne look with lots of jerky cutaways, wobbly cameras and real car smashes and tire screeching to echo around the streets of Manhattan to earn authenticity. With passers by in most of the shots because of permit, time and budget constraints it did look rather real.
The co-efficient with Statham is a sensible one in that if you stick him in your action movie you will make a decent profit, a $30 million budget returning $40million to Lions Gate coffers here, a studio that needs no risk movies. It's slightly more B-Movie than normal as the director is the writer here and so very much his vision and so trying new things, moments of pathos by Statham demanded by the simple script not remotely convincing and perhaps should have been cut. The punters don't want to watch popcorn Statham movies if he is thinking about hurling himself under the A Train! These guys are supposed to be indestructible to do the brave and bombastic feats they do.
On the whole though it justified the rent (£2 per week from my local library and great deals to be had there with new movies so check it out!) and I neither felt short changed or excited about what I just watched. It was my monthly winters fix of Statham and so the perfunctory three out of five stars and job done. Don't rent this expecting it to be an action movie you would watch over and over again. Just settle in with some popcorn and admire those pecs, martial arts and our Jason's cheeky grins. It's not like we have many of this particular type of charismatic stars to go around.
Imdb.com -6.5/10.0 (32,436 votes)
Metacritc.com - 55% critic's approval rating
Rottentomatos.com -57% critic's approval rating
The Guardian - 'It's tough delivering an action performance with heart. Statham's cracked it'
Time Out -' The occasional efficient action sequence means that 'Safe' never gets truly dull, but even Statham aficionados might feel short- changed by this one'.
The Las Vegas Voice - 'Editing is wonky, and the story leaves much to be desired, but Jason Statham genuinely shines in this rugged, violent action-thriller, with a body count that rivals classic John Woo'
Sydney Morning Herald -' Jason] Statham blasts his way through his biggest body count in this satisfying, one-note action film designed very specifically for Statham fans who know his acting limits as well as he does'.
The Mirror - 'The usually stone-faced Statham actually emotes a bit here and there. You kinda get a nice warm vibe right before he kills about 20 to 30 people'.
Sin Magazine -'I want and action film to be bad-ass, well directed, and to give me an adrenaline rush. And on those terms, this film more than succeeds'.
= = = = Special Features = = = =
-The Making Of-
Cast & crew discuss their movie, writer and director action aficionados and rather geeky about the whole thing.
-Cracking the Safe-
More of the same as they waffle on some more
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
OK so we went to see 'Safe' for my friend's birthday and from the trailer it looked like a typical action film (Jason Statham ofc it is!) with a bit of a twist...
So Jason Statham plays a character called Luke Wright, who has angered the Russian mafia. They kill his wife and threaten him with killing everyone he comes in contact with. He also seemed to have upset the police and get beaten up by them. He despairs and is at the point of suicide.
Enter young Chinese girl Mei, walking along suspiciously down the station platform. She catches his eye. He stares at her, watches her, steps back from the platform edge and plonks himself down on the bench, confused. Well, that's not exactly how it happened, but why would a random Chinese girl stop him from suicide? AND I thought it was super uncomfortable when they walked into a hotel together and with her constant agonised expression, it just looked dodgy.
But anyway, he sees the Russian mafia looking for her, kills them and then decides to take it on himself to protect her and deal with everyone who is trying to look for her. Why? Because she can memorise long numbers and has the combination to a safe which is very valuable to the Russians, the Chinese and the corrupt NYPD.
Note: this is the scummiest I've seen the police in a movie!!
I didn't understand half the backstabbing/backstory that the film tried to relay, I went along with it. Jason Statham is heroic and obviously very stylish in action and his oneliners. I did feel some of the scenes were too 'flashy' and not quite clear enough though the bone breaking sound effects make up for the lack of visuals.
The plot was only average as you find yourself questioning a lot of why events happened, what was the point of this and that- not helped by the constant introduction of new characters througout the movie who all seem to have ulterior motives.
The climax was decent though the ending not so satisfying.
Overall, this film is another one of those action-packed movies which plot doesn't really matter. You watch it, go WOW and then it finishes and you can't explain to the person next to you what just happened. Still, Jason Statham is proving hot in this genre and for fans, this is a solid film. For those who want proper solid plot AND action, give this a miss.