@themovies/ 'Safe House'

Hollywood finds a (used) vehicle for Washington and Reynolds, but nobody said it was going to be any good

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

The nearly 2-hour 'Safe House' was penned
by David Guggenheim, who's only other
credit was a 2011 TV movie called
'Exit Strategy,' starring Washinton's
'Training Day' co-star Ethan Hawke.
GUN shots, government conspiracies, corporate betrayal, car chases. Repeat. If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all-type shit here. The only difference here is it's now fresh-faced Ryan Reynolds who at one point actually mutters the words, "Who do you work for?" at the guy he's pinned to the ground at gunpoint, right after I said in my head, "please don't don't tell me he's going to say, 'Who do you work for'." Come on!

Safe House was the first American venture for Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money), who probably grew up glued to the TV set watching movies that starred Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, or even Steven Seagal. But '80s Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal. That would explain a lot.

Of course, Tobin Frost (better-than-this Denzel Washington) is a former CIA agent who's gone rogue, criss-crossing the globe, stockpiling notable enemies along the way. By the sake of...who cares, really?!...he semi-self-servingly ends up in a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, in which Reynolds is holed up as its "housekeeper," bouncing rubber balls off the wall to show just how bored he is. I wished I had my own bouncy ball at the theatre that night. Just sayin.'

Reynolds is Matt Weston, itching to prove himself as someone more capable than spending months on end tending to an empty suite, begging for residency. Needless to say, he gets what he wished for...and then some. Weston finds himself catapulted into a world he can't grasp just yet, full of those aforementioned gun shots, government conspiracies, corporate betrayal, and car chases. Cookie cutter action move shit, just slicker and with a disgustingly bigger budget ($85 million!) than those '80s trend-setters.

There's really nothing here we haven't seen many, many times prior, or anything we really couldn't piece together via the trailer. But, if you want a night out where you don't have to bug your brain too much, then maybe the Safe House is where you need to be. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

2 outta 5 stars

For local showtimes of Safe House click here.

Below is the official trailer for Daniel Espinosa's 'Safe House.'

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