The spy game is a tried and true genre for Hollywood. It seems like every month or so there is a new movie out about spies doing things and backstabbing and saving the western world or something. It’s also the cold part of the year where we see a genre movie starring Denzel Washington. The name of this one is ​Safe House​ and this time he’s joined by Ryan Reynolds in this story with snapping necks, car chases, and high powered gunfire all to get this one man who holds some important secrets.

The story begins with Reynolds’ character, Matt Weston going about his regular as the caretaker of a CIA safe house. He’s in contact with his superior about getting out of his current station and into fieldwork. Meanwhile we’re introduced Denzel’s character, Tobin Frost who is making a deal to sell a special file. He obtains this file and instead of going to buyer he chooses take the file and go. During the chase he ends up going to the US consulate and turning himself in. We learn he is one of the best CIA field agents ever and he went rogue. Now brought to the safe house where Matt works, Tobin’s pursuers attack the house and force Matt to Tobin and keep him safe until he CIA can bring him in.

This movie is pretty all around entertaining experience. It’s not too heavy or deep. It covers all the bases you expect to cover. Daniel Espinosa basically shoots the film like a Tony Scott movie. From first look even from the trailer you could think this was a Tony Scott/Denzel Washington collaboration. High contrast colors, quick cuts and at time jittery camera are the main things you see in the movie in terms of filmmaking. The jittery camera was at times very, very annoying. The sound and music is really nothing too much to even notice, it’s not bad it just doesn’t really stand out.

Denzel in this is having a good time. He’s like rogue spy Obi Won to the green Ryan Reynolds in here. Washington’s Tobin is either smirking or beating the heck out of someone in here. He’s always a danger when on screen since you don’t really know what he will do. Reynolds is here is good and very likable. Like the perfect altruistic hero in this role. His portrays this character as in over his head and naïve yet very capable of getting out this whole thing in the end. Brendan Gleeson gives a very decent performance as Weston’s mentor and superior in the CIA. That character goes through all the familiar hoops you would expect from him in the end.

So should you see Safe House? Probably so, it was fun and does what it does pretty well. Don’t go in looking for a transcendent experience of film cause that’s not what it is supposed to do. It’s Denzel being a badass and Ryan Reynolds being the hero he was supposed to be in Green Lantern. That’s all.

Final Grade C+

Originally published on Reel Film News

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