Safe House **

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“Safe House” could have been a riveting spy thriller but instead it settles for a series of frantic, convoluted chase scenes and an incomprehensible and unfocused story.

Denzel Washington plays a rogue agent who went off the reservation years ago. He is abducted by the CIA while selling secrets to the enemy. He is taken to a Safe House operated by Ryan Reynolds, who is a low level operative. When the house is hit raided by some very bad looking people, Reynolds finds himself on the run with Washington, trying to bring him in and stay alive. Thats about all the plot I could figure out.

The director is Daniel Espinosa, whom I am not familiar with. Based on this movie I would say he needs to learn from some of the action film veterans on how to slow down and stage a chase scene in a way that is easy for the audience to follow. Instead he uses the usual style of chop shop editing that mashes up split second images with an ear piercing soundtrack. I’m thankful that this was not in 3D.

Washington and Reynolds do what they can with their respective roles but they are not given fully rounded characters or proper dialogue to build some intrigue from.

“Safe House” is doing excellent box office so I gather that this style of action film is not going anywhere anytime soon. What a sad sentiment.

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