April 27, 2012
On the Big Board
||Statham performs some of his best hand-to-hand combat scenes since The Transporter. There are some interesting camera angles here for a generic action flick.
Since his 1999 debut in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Jason Statham has evolved from virtual unknown con artist made good to one of the most bankable action heroes in the world. When I say bankable, I am not arguing that Statham has the box office appeal of, say, Tom Hanks. Instead, what I mean is that Statham has become a fiscally responsible choice for low budget action film. His movies almost always earn a profit, ordinarily finishing around $30 million domestically and double to triple that amount worldwide. In his own way, Jason Statham is a star.
Safe is the latest attempt to capitalize upon his popularity. The premise this time is that Statham’s character, Luke, is a down on his luck cage fighter. When forced to take a dive in a fixed fight, Luke refuses to play along. As punishment, his wife and child are murdered. Luke is told that if he chooses any other life than street-walking vagabond, anyone he befriends will be similarly killed. He cedes to this demand for an indefinite period of time.
One day, Luke witnesses an 11-year-old girl being chased by some of the same people who killed his family. He jumps into action to save her. In the process, he accidentally becomes embroiled in a war between the Triad, the mafia and corrupt cops. Luke must protect the girl, unearth the secret she harbors and, presumably, kill the daylights out of a lot of random henchmen. Safe is classic Jason Statham. He makes formula movies and if you like the formula, you are all but certain to be entertained by the latest entry. (David Mumpower/BOP)