Safe: a former cage fighter has to save a gifted child from falling in to the hands of the Triads, Russian mobsters or bent cops. So here we are, another Statham action vehicle where he can kick ass, forget about the names and we all walk out of the cinema satisfied. Action-wise, there’s a few really good, bone-crunching – grab your arm / leg / nuts and shout ‘fuuuuu’ – fight scenes, however the biggest set-pieces are big, loud, well-handled, gunfights. Gruff Statham is as gruff as he can be, although his character is all over the shop: ex binman, ex cage-fighter, ex cop, potentially more dangerous… make up your mind! Other characters are all very dated action film stereotypes: Asians being either angry triads or good at maths; tattoo’d Russian gangsters called Petri and Sergi, and ruthless bent cops who will do anything for some cash-money. The story is just as ridiculous, but who really cares – it’s an action film, with plenty of action and a stunningly high body count. Other notes would be a groovy / old-fashioned soundtrack popping up in places, an Audi with Infinite boot space, New York looking shittier than ever, and the Americanized delivery of the line “I don’t collect garbage, I dispose of it”. Although I walk in to every Statham flick hoping he’ll pull a JCVD on us, Safe ends up being a pretty safe action film about a robbing a safe and keeping a girl (and the audience) safe. Sure it packs a punch and delivers some thrills, but it’s not even remotely interested in doing anything new or original, and neither is Statham at the moment.

Score: 6/10

  1. Statham is one of those actors that I’ve no interest as seeing as an action star. I think I’ve seen Crank and one of the Transporters, and hated them both. He was great in Snatch, but otherwise I’ll just avoid him. Safe sounds no different from anything else he’s done recently, exactly as you say.


    • i totally understand this stance, sometimes I wonder why I drag myself out to see every new release… There are some gems in there, and I’m always hoping that he will do a JCVD at some point – finger’s crossed. Also, as average as it sounds, of all the Statham vehicles I’ve reviewed, there’s only been one real stinker – Killer Elite, and even then it was Bobby’s fault!


  2. Shaft said:

    Unlike Russell Betney here, I love Statham do death, and thank the Action God every time he makes a new film. Haven’t seen this, but I admit the trailer is kick-ass, so I’ve high expectations for it.


    • “thank the Action God every time he makes a new film” – ha ha ha ha, awesome. This is definitely more action-heavy than his past few films, and the bone-breakin’ stands out from his past few movies. Well worth catching as a Statham fan.


      • Shaft said:

        I love Statham because he isn’t pretentious. He’s an action man and doesn’t try to be something else – more so, he doesn’t look derisively at the genre. I remember during one of “The Expendables” events, a journalist asked him if he was afraid of being typecast as an action-only guy. His reply was something along the lines: “You make it sound as if it’s a bad thing. I love action; I’m having fun doing it and I’m not planning on stopping.”


        • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

          I see where you’re coming from but my biggest concern would be to see a guy like The Stathe end up in a place like Segal / JCVD are now. I wish Van Dam did JCVD decades ago so you could see some of his proper acting chops.


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