Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinema Babble: Seems Familiar...But In A Good Way

The Flick: Safe

The Peeps: Jason Stratham, Catherine Chan, James Hong, Chris Sarandon, etc.

The Dealio: Reminiscent of various Bruce Willis adventure-thriller flix, Safe focuses in on Luke Wright (Stratham), an ex-cop, now working as a cage-fighter, and losing on a regular basis. Luke has managed to fall  afoul of not one, but at least two, mobs. On the run, and warned not to make friends with anyone whose safety he values, Wright witnesses a young Chinese girl on a subway platform, obviously hiding from men he knows are Russian mobsters. Through a series of events, and against his better judgement, Wright winds up on the lam with the girl, Mei. Along the way, he discovers something pretty unique about her, and pretty surprising about himself. 
Given that this is your standard Stratham flick, you will know to expect meager dialogue- at least from him- max car-chases, punch 'em ups and explosive gunfire. What you might not expect is the toughness of the petite, self-possessed Mei, (Chan is a natural... in two languages). Though not as  riveting as the chem between Jean Reno and Natalie Portman in The Professional, there is a lot to dig about this on-screen relationship.

The Grading Session: 4.81 pengies out of 5. Extreme, and -usually graphic- violence abounds. So, if this is not your cuppa.... As always, your mileage may differ.

Lessons Learned: First of all, don't tell any character played by Stratham what he can and cannot do. How many times do I have to say this?! Next: if someone is carrying a concealed weapon and thinks it is not going to be eventually used against them, they clearly haven't seen enough Bruce Willis movies. Or Jason Stratham movies, for that matter. Lastly: you must remember this: in this sort of movie- if not in real life- every put-upon dog will  have his or her day. And you may not be happy with the results if you are the one  doing the putting-upon (which).

Notable Quotables: Mei: 'What this means is bad business for you. Bad business for me, also.' File this one under classic understatements.

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