Safe stars Jason Statham as Luke Wright, an ex-special forces agent who takes it upon himself to rescue and protect Mei (Catherine Chan), a young girl whose memory holds a priceless code which prompts the Triads, the Russian mob and a gang of corrupt police officers to pursue her and the wealth the code unlocks.
The film throws us straight in at an expeditious pace that remains consistent throughout the 94 minute run time. Whilst this administers a hectic and chaotic feel to the film that provides multiple levels of thrills, it highlights the fact that minimal back story is shed on Statham’s character, opening up the film to the first of many plot holes. We’re shown very early that Wright is a cage fighter, but the only explanation for this is that it allows writer/director Boaz Yakin an incident to
propel the story forward with, regardless of the unsubstantial effects it has on the plot.
Statham wanders around the first act unsure of what to do, looking as tumultuous as the audience feels, doing his best efforts to display a strong New York accent that’s drifting wayward. The start of act two brings the meeting of Wright and Mei, and as is generally expected there’s no legitimate cause for Wright to help Mei other than it will provide some arse kicking explosions throughout the bulk of the film, but to be honest, what more do we want?
It is here that the film manages to play to its strengths, and it can’t be denied Statham shines in these roles, potentially being the best guy on the action circuit at the moment. Each action scene brings a nostalgic feel reminiscent of the 80s action heyday to the film, merged with a hybrid effect of Bourne-style shaky cam, providing non-stop explosive fun. However, as entertaining as the action is, it still can’t disguise the fact the script is flawed, with plot holes presenting themselves consistently throughout the narrative, allowing the story to conveniently progress in an inconceivable manner.
While the film lacks coherence, it can’t be denied the audience will be launched into a rollercoaster of sheer entertainment – dubious content aside – it’s enough to keep you interested.
UK Cinema Release: May 4