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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 6 May 2012
Okay, I'm a Jason Stratham fan, who can forget him in the Transporter series where he kicked butt big time and gave us a plethora of thrills and spills along the way.

So of course I was going to see Safe at the cinema and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot is simple enough. Mei, a young girl has a prodigious memory for all things numerical and because of this she has been taken from her home in China and made to work for the deadly Mr Han played by the understated James Hong.

At first all Mei has to do is keep track of all of the finances of Mr Han's many criminal activities in America. Mr Han does not believe in leaving a paper trail so a human computer is the next best thing. But now Mei has been given a numerical code that is more deadly than the work she has been forced to do so far in order to keep her sick mother alive in China.

But Mei played by an excellent Catherine Chan (she has it in her to make it big I think!) finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob who have no qualms about killing innocent people to get what they want, and of course the corrupt NYC cops who will do anything to get the number that she holds in her head.

Her only ally is an ex cop-come-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the Russian gangsters on Mei's trail. Luke Wright, Jason Stratham at his rugged and violent best is a haunted man. His wife was murdered by the Russian mafia and he has had to live off the grid, never daring to make friends with anyone for that would mean their certain death.

It is Mei who inadvertently saves Luke and he makes it his mission to save her no matter what the cost.

So we are taken on a breath taking roller cost of a ride in the art of brutal knuckle fighting, slick karate moves and outrageous shooting scenes, (surprisingly not too gratuitous) as Luke makes good on his mission. The only real fly in Luke's ointment is the deadly Alex, a smoldering Anton Mount at his best.

With solid performances by all the cast, "Safe" is far from being a feel good movie. It's bloody, it's violent, it's vicious but it does have it's own unique feel good factor in that you know that what Luke is doing is not for blood or money but for the redemption of his own life and that of his dead wife and unborn child.

Worth going to the cinema to see for the fight scenes alone and if that is not your forte, then go because Jason Stratham is hot totty in EVERY sense of the word!
22 comments| 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Safe is the story of Mei (Catherine Chan) - a Chinese girl with an eidetic memory for numbers; sifted from school, she is spirited away by the Chinese mafia who want to use her as their account ledger without leaving an electronic trail. At the same time; Luke (Jason Statham - The Mechanic) is persecuted by the Russian Mafia for refusing to take bribes. When the Russian's persecution causes Luke to contemplate suicide, a chance encounter with Mei changes his mind and he feels he owes a debt of gratitude to her. Caught in the middle of the shady dealings between the Russians, the Chinese and the dirty Cops of New York city, can he possibly extricate Mei from her situation?

Whilst Statham's facial expression may not deviate much from the standard grimace/snarl he employs in a near permanent basis, I was pleasantly surprised at just how well he fit the role of this slightly-cliché, washed-up/ex-cop/cage-fighter and managed to inspire some empathy for his character. What's more obvious is the growth of his martial-art skills; the fight-scenes in Safe are truly fantastic. Clear direction and good cinematography by director Boaz Yakin allow you to follow them easily (steering clear of the choppy & blurry freneticism action movies are so very fond of) - there is also a lot of gun-play, which again is a lot clearer than usual in respect to who is firing at who.

Resultantly, the components of the rather-hackneyed plot are used to maximum effect as Luke (Statham) plays the involved parties off against each other to his own end making this film not only a pulse-heightening affair, but relatively more intellectually stimulating than most of the leading-man's usual fare for the entire 95-minute bit.

Extra content: There's an audio commentary with writer/director Boaz Yakin - a making of called "Cracking Safe" another on-set featurette detailing one of the major battle scenes called "Criminal Battleground" and finally an in depth-look at the gun-play in "The Art of the Gunfight". All wrapped up in a neat little menu-system.

Whilst it's good and will keep you glued to the screen, you know exactly where this film is headed from the off and that's the disappointing part - but that is literally the only thing that lets Safe down - it's predictability. Recommended for a quality action movie that will entertain but ultimately, it's nothing new.
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on 11 May 2012
This could quite possibly be Statham's best film yet. The producers have been a little more generous with the budget than the average Statham film and have had the good sense to cast a little Chinese girl in a central role. The casting of newcomer Catherine Chen is a great idea and gives everyone a reason to actually care about a someone in a film of largely unpleasant characters.
Statham though takes center stage and is on great form as always playing the sympathetic minder one minute and cold hearted killer the next.In a film full of bent cops, Chinese triads and Russian Mafia there's plenty of bodies around for Jason to dispatch to their graves at pretty regular intervals.
After the early plot developments unfold it sets things up nicely for an action packed hour that you won't forget in a hurry. If you are a Statham fan then you'll love this without a doubt;If you are looking for a thriller with more brains than brawn then perhaps look elsewhere.
A great 90 minutes entertainment courtesey of "The Stath".
Enjoy !
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 September 2012
Being a self-confessed fan of Jason Statham (yes, I am seeking professional help for this affliction) I was looking forward to Safe - a film where the cheeky half cockney/half New Yorker takes a young girl under his muscular wing in order to protect her from not just the Triads, but Russian mobsters and even a branch of dirty cops.

Obviously we know that `the Stath' will win though, kicking many heads along the way, but it's the journey we're interested in.

Many people will have seen him do something similar in the Transporter (1 through however many have been made since I wrote this). And he did it well for that franchise, i.e. despatching armies of incompetent bad guys without a bead of sweat trickling off his shiny dome. However, here, in Safe, it all gets a little too serious.

Statham's previous efforts seem to have a degree of `knowingness' about them, as if they're just a little tongue-in-cheek (think Roger Moore's James Bond stint, but with less hair of course). In Safe, the bad guys are indeed ten-a-penny and pretty generic. In fact, there's barely one that you'll remember - just see them as Russian Hood #12 and Dirty Cop #4 and that's about as much character development as you're going to get there.

Other people have drawn comparisons with the Bruce Willis film Mercury Rising, where he has to protect a youngster from all sorts of gangs. I haven't seen that one, so I can't comment.

Overall, Safe isn't bad. There are shootouts. There are fist-fights and even a car chase or two. However, it all just seems a little run-of-the-mill. With the Transporter franchise you had flashy sets and over-the-top action. Here, you have the grimy backdrop of New York at night and a feeling you've seen most of this before.

Okay, probably most enjoyed by Statham die-hards, but if you're looking for a generic action flick to fill 1 hr 20 minutes, you could do worse than Safe.

Not bad, just nothing that special. Roll on Expendables 3 (or 8, depending on how long they drag the franchise out for).
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Jason Statham is a shall we say limited actor but however he is very good at doing action films and if you are seeing this movie for great acting then you are in the wrong place here though the film does have some decent pserformances, this is a very enjoyable action film with some very good action scenes. Statham plays a former cop, now a cage fighter who has to protect a little girl from some Chinese and Russian gangsters and corrupt cops who all want the girl as she is very good with numbers. The plot is very simplistic, Statham does give one of his best performances but it's the action that makes the film very enjoyable. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy a very enjoyable action film.
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on 9 January 2016
Jason Statham stars as a former cop who has lost his life due to his past and having interaction with any other person could make them a walking target. His only option is to remain a drifter, sleeping rough and trying to avoid any conversations. Enter then a young Chinese girl who is being used by triad type gangsters who needs help, which gives Statham the opportunity for revenge and redemption. Plenty of action, martial arts, car chases and stunts like most of Statham's films but don't expect Oscar quality acting.
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on 17 September 2012
Safe isn't the best of Jason Stathom's films but it's good and certainly worth watching and is packed with lot's of action. After the murder of his wife, his character is about to commit suicide when he sees a young girl being chased by Russian gangsters along the underground. Needless to say 'Luke' jumps in and gives the bad guys a good sorting out.

In no time at all he finds himself in the middle of a gang war with corrupt cops (his former colleagues) thrown in for good measure who are trying to play one side against the other. All in all it's another better than average film of this genre in you like that sort of thing.
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on 14 September 2012
MMMHH where to start about this film.
First of all a good story with bags of originality...
The Action was good but not brilliant...when a fight scene starts and a fight is on...the camera work decides to shake and twist etc..trying to be arty..i wish i could see a straight forward, straight on fight scene from time to time..
There was a lot of subtitles in this film..not impressed because i do have sight issues..
This movie was definetly a step up for Statham on the acting front...maybe with age he's trying to keep his acting options open...not sure that that will work for him..he is a kick ass action hero not an actor or somebody you could put in a shakespere play..
This film was good dont get me wrong..but was it special...and the answer to that is 'not quite'
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on 17 September 2015
Must just be me, but I feel a bit in the minority on this one, given my rating compared to others. This is a competent enough actioner, it's just that I think the violence is overplayed and unnecessary, and I suspect it is simply to cover up a complicated, but rather ridiculous plot. It would have been better to have some useful scenes to explain the plot and its players better, and keep the violence to a necessary level. Can't understand how the censors can give such a film a 15 rating - years ago, this would certainly have been an 18! But if action is what you want, then you won't be disappointed, but don't expect anything particularly intelligent.
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on 6 May 2012
If your a massive Statham fan then this movie wont let you down!! This is a quality action movie with a great story thats well paced and builds up stronger as it goes with plenty of mindless violence, bloody shootouts and Statham generally doing what he does best beating down the bad guys!! If your an action fan this is a must!!
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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