Safe House Review

Lately, when you see Denzel Washington playing the lead in a film you conjure up images of a mediocre thriller, where he solely carries the weak cast along and the whole effort feels like just another attempt to get at the notes in your wallet. It hasn’t really been the same since he starred in Training Day in what seems an age ago. Training Day was a smart and complex thriller, the way they are meant to be, but this has really been lost as of late. Take recent attempts at the genre featuring Denzel; Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 123 and other flops like Out of Time.

I didn’t have high expectations going into Safe House, but I was praying that he would bust out of the bad run of films he has been put to in the last 5 years to reinstate my faith in the man. Ryan Reynolds is another name that puts doubt in your mind, and his question performance in the Green Lantern last year was something we’d rather forget. I was hoping that Reynolds would add some credibility to his name after this film.

The good news is, Safe House was great! Although parts of the story had a few holes (albeit you could justify some of them JUST), the actual the storyline was well thought through and the twists and turns really do keep you engaged. It would have been easy for a film like this to get a little too ‘Hollywood’, but kudos to the director for standing his ground.
Safe House had plenty of action, a handful of jump-out-of-your-seat moments, and solid performances from both Washington and Reynolds. Their on-screen chemistry was fairly natural and it is safe to say that this is Washington’s best film since Training Day (although Man on Fire was pretty decent too).

It feels that Washington has exhausted this film niche now, and it is hard to see where he will go next. I’ve never thought of him as having much flexibility in terms of his acting and now is the perfect time for him to diversify. Reynolds is still hot off his ‘sexiest man of the year’ awards in 2011 so I’m sure plenty of scripts are rolling his way for consideration. Let’s hope that whatever they agree to star in next is half as good as Safe House.
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