Sunday, April 29, 2012

Safe (2012)

R, 1 hr. 35 min.  Directed By:  Boaz Yakin.  Release Date:  Apr 27, 2012.

I wasn’t expecting a whole lot.  This is a Jason Statham movie, after all, so what I figured I’d see is based on my high level perspective of his career to date:  (1) he spends at least part of the movie fighting without a shirt, (2) he kills a horrific number of people (3) he’s involved in some nasty business, but is riding the moral high ground and (4) he takes at least one serious beating.  Basically, I was four for four. 

What I didn’t expect is how much fun this movie would be.  Catherine Chan, the little girl with the eidetic memory, was a riot.  Statham had a few really good one liners as well, so the movie was a nice balance of bloodshed and humor that held a nice dry (kind of Britishy edge).  The action sequences and fight scenes were awesome, without being ridiculous and without anything that might be considered overly gory.

I actually liked almost the entire cast (even Statham).  James Hong, who I kind of know as the generic Asian gangster (sometimes the generic Asian middle aged man) put on a really good show.  He’s good as a gangster, and leading the Triad rampaging its way through New York City to get to little Mei, he was really good. 

Do New York City cops and politicians ever get tired of being portrayed as corrupt, soulless bastards?  At this point, I have to wonder if the reputation is well-deserved, because if I were a cop in NYC or a politician or some other person serving a vital role in the city government, I’d be a little angry that it’s almost impossible to find a movie that shows a decent cop in the city.  I still think the attitude towards police stems from the British reaction to forming their police force a few hundred years ago.  The original colonists would have shared that distrust of police, and I have to wonder if we accuse them of the worst because it’s habit, not so much for modern behavior.  But then, I’m not a resident in NYC, so I don’t know anything that goes on there.  Could I be right, anyone who happens to read this from NYC?

Safe is a great prelude to the action films of the summer, and I hope the movies to come in the next four months will live up to at least this standard of fun.  If they happen to have better production value, well, that’s just gravy.