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Teen Movie Critic - V

Safe

by

Jeff Nelson

I just think that this whole concept of keeping the young girl safe is stale and that an action star as great as Jason Statham could have been utilized better.

Safe
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The action star Jason Statham has become a big name in the genre. He has now featured in quite a few of his own action flicks, but has even starred alongside some of the greatest action stars of all time in The Expendables and the sequel The Expendables 2. Anybody who has been even remotely following the career of Statham knows about the trilogy originating from The Transporter. That's the franchise that most moviegoers think of when Jason Statham is brought up. Those movies weren't that great, but they were entertaining enough and it displayed Jason Statham's skills of being the star of action films. In fact, he has become one of my favorite action stars of all time. He shines on screen in a way that not many other actors can do.With Safe being released, it looked a lot like another entry in the Transporter franchise. To be blunt, it essentially is.

A onetime secret agent comes to the aid of a 12-year-old girl held captive by ruthless Triad gangsters. Before the rescue is over, the pair will go up against not only her abductors, but also the Russian Mafia and a bunch of corrupt New York cops. The plot itself is extremely similar to that of other films that Jason Statham has starred in. In the case of Safe, the screenplay fights to have a story. It makes several attempts at creating a story for Statham's character, Luke Wright. He ends up becoming a father figure for Mei. While all of this is going on, the screenwriter tried to have a backstory for Luke's past. There's a lot of juggling between these 'plots' and the action sequences. I seriously feel that Safe would be a stronger film without trying to create a story for audiences. Similar to most action flicks, Luke is somehow invincible throughout all of the fights and shoot-outs. However, that isn't much of a problem since I expected just that from a movie such as Safe. After all has been said and done, the ending tries to draw a much bigger connection between Luke and Mei where it doesn't feel as if there were enough interactions between the two to make this feel genuine. Perhaps more personal scenes between the two could have made it feel more real. In defense of Safe, if you're looking for an action movie where you can turn your brain off at the door, then you should have a decent time with all of the action going on.

A lot of the audiences that are going to check out Safe are the fans of Jason Statham. I have enjoyed seeing his motion pictures for a while now. He's definitely one of the best action stars around for this generation. Well, he does it again in Safe. He's charming on screen and a blast to watch. There are times where the screenplay tries desperately to draw a connection between Luke and the viewers, which simply falls flat on its face. However, this isn't the fault of Statham. He delivers the character well, given the source material he was given. Catherine Chan performs as Mei and does a decent job, especially since this is her first feature film. She's believable in the character despite the fact that her role feels rather distant. James Hong is one of the antagonists as Han Jiao. He's just as expected, a one-dimensional bad guy. The performances are just what one would expect from an action movie. However, fans of Jason Statham are sure to enjoy his presence, despite the character.

Putting aside the screenplay and the acting, the visuals are the most important thing about Safe, correct? Mindless action movies should at least be able to get the visuals spot on. The visuals in Safe are satisfying. The action sequences are fun, although they get a bit repetitive. Fortunately, the film embraces its R rating for strong violence throughout, and for language. Even though a lot of the blows taken by character are unrealistic as they keep on getting up even after brutal strikes, they look real. There are a lot of quick cuts, so the blood isn't focused on, but it's most certainly there making Safe appear to be real. However, there are times where the action shines bright. One in specific involves Jason Statham beating up two men with a plate. Another includes completely unloading a gun into a man's face and chest. When it comes to the audio department, the surround sound is definitely utilized a lot during Safe. Audiences will be utterly immersed in this one as sound blares from all angles.

The assumption that this is essentially Transporter 4 is true. It's extremely similar and even consists of its action star, Jason Statham. To be honest, he could do much better than this. He has the skill to be in some incredible action movies. I really enjoyed the first Crank and I hope to see him make more movies like that. To put it simply, Safe is a typical Jason Statham movie where he's invincible as he protects a young child from groups of people who want them either dead or captured. The attempts at creating a story don't work here. The visuals are decent, even though a lot of the action gets repetitive, there are some standout scenes. Looking back at this review, it sounds as if I hate the movie, which isn't true. The movie at least kept my attention from start to finish and there are a few notable action sequences. I just think that this whole concept of keeping the young girl Safe is stale and that an action star as great as Jason Statham could have been utilized better. Safe is below average.

My Rating = Two Stars

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