Jason Statham is back in the generically titled Safe, a generic action movie that is a weak entry even by his standards. Statham, who even when acting in subpar material exudes an incredible degree of energy and charisma, seems to realize early on that he signed onto a stinker; he's as forgettable as the movie.
Safe is about a girl named Mei, a Chinese math prodigy who becomes the target of multiple mob bosses and a corrupt faction of the NYPD. Statham plays a former New York City detective who inserts himself into the danger to save her.
That's the entire plot. Seriously.
Safe follows the same formula of most other Jason Statham action movies: keep it simple and let Mr. Statham kick ass. Oddly, Statham takes a back seat to his young co-star Catherine Chan, who spends much of her time speaking in what I assume to be Mandarin to the variety of people who hold her captive throughout the 95-minute movie (SPOILER: she also is the one responsible for taking down the main villain). As a result, Statham doesn't get to kick a whole lot of ass. More shockingly, he also doesn't take off his shirt.
The movie does end with an entertaining gunfight, but it's too little, too late. Writer/director Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans) spends too long on the setup and, ironically, fails to make a convincing character in Statham's Luke Wright. As a result, Statham appears lost and uninterested in his role.
Jason Statham action movies are rarely fantastic, but they're usually fun. Safe comes nowhere close. More Jason Statham, a better title and one or two more action scenes would have helped, but as is this is a movie best left behind lock, key and combination.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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