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.