From the director of Uptown Girls and Remember the Titans comes Safe, the latest semi-decent action thriller starring Jason Statham as Luke Wright, a superhuman ex-cop turned cage fighter stuck in the middle of a gang war between Chinese, Russians, and the crooked cops that play both sides. This war revolves around a prepubescent, genius Chinese girl named Mei and her photographic memory. She alone holds the code to a safe that both sides of the war are itching to open. Only Luke Wright, discovering young Mei running from the Russians on the subway, would volunteer himself as her protector and decide to deal some damage to all parties involved.
Yes, this plot is as convoluted as it sounds. Writer-director Boaz Yakin began with a punny title (safe, meaning both keeping someone safe and an actual physical safe! Genius!) and included every possible idea he could’ve had into one action adventure. While some sequences were imaginatively shot, such as a shootout on a busy New York street as seen from inside a car, it did not make up for the stiff supporting cast and lazy dialogue.
The film’s saving grace is unsurprisingly its star, Jason Statham. It never gets old watching him kick all kinds of ass, and he somehow manages to make even the cheesiest of lines sound simultaneously threatening and charming. The film gains some points in the scenes between Statham and Catherine Chan. The two wildly disparate actors have more chemistry than could be expected between a cockney-accented thug and a novice Chinese actress.