May 10, 2012
Being a Jason Statham film I was thinking I could just watch this on DVD like the other Jason Statham films I had seen before like "The Mechanic" or "Killer Elite." I decided to give this one a go because I had some time to kill before a meeting and I was definitely not going to watch "What to Expect When You're Expecting."
"Safe" had all the well-executed and exciting action scenes, brutal fistfights and explosive gunfights and unbelievable car chases in the streets of the Big Apple, expected of a Jason Statham film. Much to my surprise though, this particular Jason Statham film actually had a good story in it.
Jason Statham plays Luke Wright, an ex-cop who had fallen from grace and is now languishing in the mixed martial arts circuit. One day at the subway, feeling at the end of his rope and contemplating suicide, Luke spots a young Chinese girl in peril from some Russian hooligans. He decides to help the girl escape, and this brings him and his ward into some really harrowing danger facing not one, but three deadly gangs: the Chinese, the Russians and the rouge cops within the NYPD itself.
Jason Statham of course, we all know what he can do, and he does not disappoint in the flawed action hero area, bad-ass as ever. Granted that the young Chinese actress Catherine Chan, who played the girl-in-distress Mei, is not exactly the Asian Dakota Fanning, she was able to pull off her 'math genius with a prodigious memory' character well-enough for a first-timer in a starring role. Interestingly, a Filipino-Chinese Hollywood actor Reggie Lee plays a big role as Mei's adoptive father and does quite well also.
I think this was a well-written action film with a multi-layered story that you can follow while enjoying the exhilarating action scenes. The dramatic moments are not too cheesy nor forced. As Chinese and Russian gangs are involved, you will have to read quite a number of subtitles. Overall this is an entertaining way to kill some spare time, despite the generic title. Recommended for fans of incredibly violent slam-bang action.