Film review: Safe (3 out of 5 stars)

Jason Statham and Catherine Chan in Safe. Photo: John Baer.
Jason Statham and Catherine Chan in Safe. Photo: John Baer.

(15) 94mins

Director: Boaz Yakin

Starring: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Chris Sarandon

IT MAY be an odd thing to say but Jason Statham is the Marmite man. You either like him and his style of movie or you don’t.

I have to confess that I enjoy his films, particularly when he is the leading man.

Safe is fairly typical in that the body count is extraordinary (I lost count well before the end).

However, what is different is that director Boaz Yakin, who also wrote the screenplay, has provided a multi-layered plot that is much more than a good guy killing loads of bad guys.

Statham plays former New York cop Luke Wright who is down on his luck and ends up being harrassed by Russian gangsters.

Into his life comes a young Chinese girl (Chan) who is running away from Chinese gangsters as she has memorised a code that everyone wants.

Thrown into the mix are a bunch of cops who are distinctly on the wrong side of the law.

At times it felt more like a computer game and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a score tucked away in a corner of the screen.

However, Yakin’s direction needs flagging up as there are some unusual camera angles and a sensible use of the hand-held camera that work in the fim’s favour.

Statham shows a believeable change from suicidal resignation to seething resentment.

I’m not too sure about his accent but it didn’t really matter - you don’t go these films for Oscar-winning performances.

Catherine Chan as the young girl performs well and you get a chance to see how the violence and gangster live changes her over a period of time.

Safe does play safe in as far as the villains are concerned - they couldn’t be more obvious if they had a sign over the heads.

But the action is amazing and you do end up hoping things work out for the two main characters.

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley