Movie of the Day – Safe

I am honestly beginning to think there is a new genre of action films that is purely defined as Statham.  His movies are in a world of their own, where he is best driver in the world, one of the most difficult men to kill in his film and is an unmatched fighter.  His films follow a particular structure of death and destruction that only pander to the base needs that film goers want when they see a Statham movie.  I want him to either a) drive cars in the most actiony way possible, b) shot lots of guns at people, c) make quips and lots of them, and finally d) beat up everyone who gets in his way.  The latest film, Safe, for a lack of a better word, is pretty much a safe film that delivers us what we come to expect with Jason Statham films.  It’s not rocket science, but damned if the science isn’t fun to watch.

Safe is another in a long line of the Statham beat everyone up genre.  In fact, that plot of Safe has him fighting and killing every possible bad guy on Manhattan Island.  From the Chinese Triads, to the Russian mob and crooked cops, it’s like every cliché action villain resided on the island only to seemingly find a way to incur the wrath of the Stath.  Safe’s plot revolved around the life of a young Chinese girl who is used by the Triads for her gifts of memorization and number counting.  The young girl is told to memorize an important series of numbers which will help her boss get something from a vault or whatever.  I really lost track of the plot after the numerous gun fights that seemingly happen as a common thing in New York.  But let’s be honest, you don’t go see a Jason Statham movie for the plot.  You go see a Jason Statham movie for the physical action and gratuitous gun battles that are the hallmark of the Statham films.  If there is one thing you can bank on from his movies, is that they are the standard for the current action genre.

I knew what I was getting into with this latest gift from Statham.  Even from the beginning of the film Statham is introduced to the audience as a bad ass fighter cause he put a guy into a coma with one punch.  Yes, Statham is a death punch sort of guy.  So with that little nugget of knuckle sandwich being given to us, the only path this film can go from there is up.  Director Boaz Yakin turns the entire city of New York into the violent playground of death that Statham seems truly comfortable living in.  It plays up the strengths of Statham, from car chases to restaurant shootouts, they all seem familiar, but exciting none the less.  Yakin gives us what we want and that is a no filler plot line and lots of Statham of unloading entire clips into bad guys while shooting off one liners like bullets.  It’s pure pandering, but it does feel so good to enjoy the film.  Statham does have that enjoyable action quality to him from that raw, kinetic energy he brings to the films along with the physical presence that says, “yeah, I can one punch a man to death”.  Those are the qualities we look for in an action star and Jason Statham brings us those served up on a plate of bullets and his discarded shirts.

There shortcomings with the film though, aside from the plot which are never a factor for me when watching his movies.  The action, while entertaining, is shot with the standard go to for action movies, the shaky cam.  Christ how I loathe the use of shaky cam and it doesn’t help this movie at all.  We know that Statham can fight and do impressive action scenes, but you can hardly tell apart who gets shot and by whom.  I assume all of Statham’s bullets are the one hitting people, but trying to make it seem more exciting by putting us in the action is annoying.  I want to watch it unfold, rather be one of the panicky bystanders not trying to catch a bullet from Statham.  It doesn’t make it anymore gritty nor does it help.

With the directing aside, I was pleased with this latest outing.  Sure it gets hard to tell his films apart because you are just substituting one location for the next and bad guys are interchangeable, but shit does it entertain at the base level.  I like action films and Statham can do action films, even if I get both The Mechanic and Safe mixed up because he plays a slight variation of commando hit-man.  Safe is the culmination of all his films, which is great since his films are enjoyable.  We get the cynicism we want from Statham and the gruff, macho action scenes that satiate the male demographic that shows up to his films.  This is a safe bet of a film, one that serves up delicious action sequences, even if they were over shot with shaky cam, and the satisfaction of knowing that we can expect nothing but the best from Statham.  Safe doesn’t change the action genre, but you get the familiar commodities that have us coming back again and again to these sort of action films.  Also, he seriously takes on every bad guy in New York.  Kind of genius.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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