Jason Statham movies need to be reviewed by an entirely separate grading system. For the most part he plays a policeman/military guy who has been framed or had his family hurt. When Statham steps out of that stereotype he can shine as an actor, for proof of that just look The Transporter, Italian Job and Bank Job.
This is the way I look at his movies: Is it worse than, or better than his last movie? Even after answering that question I factor in how much worse it was than the last one. Unfortunately, Transporter 3 and Death Race led me to factor in how much worse as those movies were truly, utterly horrible.
So using that scale; Safe is not too bad for a Jason Statham movie. It’s marginally better than Killer Elite based on the action and fight sequences, but the actors and writing were better in Elite.
In Safe Statham plays Luke Wright, a guy who used to be cop but became a cage fighter. He wins a fight that he was supposed to lose, which cost the Russian mob lots of money. The mob kills his family and threatens to kill anybody he ever forms a relationship with again. Wright’s path intersects with Mei, a Chinese girl with a photographic memory on the run from the Chinese mob.
The most interesting part of Safe is the first 30 minutes which plays out like an action version of Memento as it’s told via flashbacks. Once the movie gets going in real time we’re introduced to a police force that is corrupt and the script goes into paint the numbers mode.
The better action sequences happen early in the movie. That’s unfortunate but the whole of the movie is enjoyable, if you go into it knowing that it’s a Jason Statham movie. Safe is also made better by the appearances of veteran character actor James Hong and Reggie Lee, who audiences will know from Grimm and countless other movies.
Bottom line: Don’t give up on Jason Statham yet. Safe isn’t great, but it’s much better than The Mechanic. Relax, watch the movie, get some beer, snacks, put the cat on the sofa and enjoy the cheesy ride.
Dad spends a night in the mancave is a series about what guys do when women aren’t around to judge them for what they watch on television. It’s those potentially bad movies, questionable action films or something starring Bruce Campbell that really can be enjoyable through the lens of a guy. We may reveal plot points to the movies that are discussed. Most of these movies have actor/actresses that have appeared with Bruce Willis, it’s not a rule or law, it just seems to work out that way.