Safe Review: Jason Statham Elevates Direct-To-DVD Quality Actioner

For 14 yr old boys with extremely short attention spans and hardened Statham fans only. Anyone else will probably want to skip Safe.

rating: 2

There€™s no better way to sum up Jason Statham€™s latest actioner Safe than by stealing the advertising slogan from a well-known British fence-staining brand and tell you that €˜it does exactly what it says on the tin€™ When cage fighter Luke Wright (Statham) falls foul of some Russian gangsters by not throwing a match, his path becomes inextricably linked with that of a young Chinese girl, who happens to hold in her head the combination code to the titular Safe. What follows next is a total convoluted mess of a plot involving Chinese Triads, corrupt Cops and more Russian Gangsters and via the jet fumes of Statham€™s charm alone, he manages to turn this from something that€™s so bad, it€™s sort of good, in a really bad way€ Back to that doing exactly what is says on the tin reference: If you want three-dimensional characters and a coherent plot; you€™re in the wrong place. But you probably knew that already. However, if like me you€™re the type of person who relishes the prospect of watching Jason Statham dressed as a tramp, kicking the living daylights out of a one dimensional Russian gangster on a packed subway train, then maybe, just maybe, you€™ll derive some enjoyment out of Safe. It€™s just a shame that said action scenes and the solid work of the leading man is almost undermined by Boaz Yakin€™s turd of a script. During the early set-up stages when Statham€™s Wright first irks the Russian mob, the ruskie bad guys slaughter his wife (inducing a manly Statham cry) and tell him that there will always be one of their guys on his tail ready to kill anyone he ever gets close to again. This kind of sounds like the idea for a film to me and when in the next scene the nefarious Russians prove that they€™re men of their word and dispatch a tramp that the now homeless Luke Wright has given some footwear to, I actually thought that this was the main plot. I was obviously pretty confused then to find that it wasn€™t and I wonder if this was the direction taken in an earlier draft of the script. But this is not my biggest grievance; that is saved for the revelation that before Luke Wright was a badass cage fighter and a tramp, he just happened to be some kind of elite, special forces, super cop that carried out secret missions for the New York Mayor and in doing so acquired a specialist skill-set that more than enables him to take down the entire Russian and Chinese mobs single handed. I could go on and tell you about poor acting and the fact that the supporting cast, Chris Sarandon included, simply all turn up and collect their pay cheques, but by this point, if I haven€™t hammered it home enough, it should be pretty apparent that €˜Safe€™ is all about the action and to be fair, in places it more than delivers and cements the fact that Statham is fast becoming a genre in his own right. A notable car chase and the aforementioned subway train fisticuffs are particularly stand out here. Sadly there€™s just not a lot else on offer. Statham€™s presence elevates this from being a direct to DVD Steven Seagal affair and he gets to deliver some of his finest wisecracks yet. It€™s also quite refreshing to see him paired with a young child and it does allow him to show a softer side to his grizzly acting chops, but surely it€™s time for him to have a word with his agent and get put up for something with a little more quality? For 14 yr old boys with extremely short attention spans and hardened Statham fans only. Anyone else will probably want to skip Safe. Safe is released in UK cinemas from Friday May 4th.

Harry Roth hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.