Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Safe": Dopey Film Does Jason Statham's Heroics a Disservice 

Wednesday, Apr 25 2012
Comments

The pulpy scenarios change, but squinty action-hero Jason Statham remains chiseled, coiled, and ready to hurl himself into scores of grimacing baddies like a goddamn human cannonball. In writer-director Boaz Yakin's Safe, a preposterously enjoyable — or enjoyably preposterous — action-thriller, Statham headlines as disgraced NYPD super-cop-turned-small-time-cage-fighter Luke, whose refusal to take a dive gets his wife murdered by the Russian mafia. Banished to a remorseful life of homeless shelters and paranoia, our chrome-domed badass crawls up from rock bottom for some vengeance (read: justification to open arteries all over Manhattan) when he stumbles upon the film's MacGuffin: a 10-year-old Chinese prodigy (Catherine Chan) who has memorized a valuable numerical code. Protecting the young girl against a multifront underworld war of Russians, their Chinese Triad rivals, and the crooked-cop crew who tarnished his name for not taking payouts, Luke's self-imposed, redemptive mission fits snugly in his portrayer's cinematic wheelhouse — cracking skulls and then wise. The movie is neither as franchise-friendly as The Transporter nor as boorishly experimental as Crank: High Voltage, but Yakin's sleek, visually witty direction (a static, inside-the-car shot of a thug getting run over twice nabs two laughs) elevates his undeniably dopey script.

About The Author

Aaron Hillis

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"