Safe House (2012) starring Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Rubén Blades, Nora Arnezeder, Robert Patrick directed by Daniel Espinosa Movie Review

Safe House (2012)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Ryan Reynolds in Safe House (2012)

Safely Standard

Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) was once an elite CIA agent who has been rogue living in Africa for the past 9 years but is still regarded as a legend. When out of the blue Frost hands himself in to an American consulate he is placed in a safe house under the protection of young agent Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) where he is interrogated. But Frost has obtained something which makes him a wanted and dangerous man and the safe house gets hit by an elite force who kill everyone except Frost and Weston who manage to escape and go on the run. But as Weston receives orders from the CIA to head to another safe house it becomes apparent that there is a mole in the agency and no one can be trusted.

There are certain actors when you see their name attached to a movie it provides some sort of reassurance as it will be good, I am not on about Ryan Reynolds whose track record is hit n miss although improving but Denzel Washington who tends to appear in mainly good movies. But sadly that isn't the case when it comes to "Safe House" as whilst not a terrible movie it is disappointing in being both ordinary and predictable. In fact I heard "Safe House" once called a "Bourne" rip-off and whilst I don't agree with the rip-off part it is very much in the same style as the "Bourne" movies.

Denzel Washington in Safe House (2012)

Well what does that mean? A rogue agent and an inexperienced agent on the run as someone obviously wants to silence the rogue agent it doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out who that it is the minute that person appears on the screen. So whilst we are not told who it is when the reveal comes it isn't a surprise but a confirmation that this movie is only similar to countless other movies passing themselves of as action thrillers.

That is not the only issue as the action follows in the same style so we have supposedly frenetic action scenes from car chases to gun fights which only succeeds in blending in to that mix of other movies and fails to stand out. The closest it comes to being original is a scene involving water boarding which feels like it was kept short as not to offend the public or make them aware of how truly awful that method of interrogation is. It's not the action is bad, director Daniel Espinosa delivers snappy action but there is nothing about the action which makes you sit up and pay attention.

But then there is the acting and sadly it is like the rest of the movie, solid but forgettable which is not what you expect from a movie starring Denzel Washington. As such the likes of Washington, Reynolds, Farmiga, Gleeson and Patrick all play their parts in a typical, solid manner but I can guarantee that a week after watching this the only thing you will remember is Farmiga's piercing eyes.

What this all boils down to is that "Safe House" is not a bad movie but disappointing because it is ordinary and predictable with nothing about it which screams out original. Maybe for a young audience just getting in to this sort of action thriller it will be exciting but for anyone else it will leave you wanting.