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Safe House (3 stars)

Brutally slick but flawed action thriller starring Denzel Washtington and Ryan Reynolds

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Safe House

(15) 115mins

Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds make a formidable partnership in Daniel Espinosa's Safe House, a brutally slick, if flawed, action thriller.

Reynolds plays rookie CIA operative Matt Weston, tasked with looking after a safe house in South Africa while pining for greater career prospects. Opportunity lands on his doorstep in the form of Tobin Frost (Washington), a former CIA man turned fugitive, who has uncovered information on wrongdoing within several intelligence agencies. When the safe house is breached, Weston must prevent Frost escaping while trying to work out who is sending the assassins on their trail.

Operating under the same densely plotted, rapidly shot rulebook as Paul Greengrass' Bourne films, Safe House doesn't always make sense and signposts most of its twists. But Espinosa directs in muscular style, delivering at least one cracking car chase and several bruising fights, while the chemistry between its leading men and strong support from Brendan Gleeson and Vera Farmiga ensure the enjoyment factor remains high.

The film's weak ending lacks courage, however, and prevents it from standing out in its genre.

General release from Fri 24 Feb.

Safe House

  • 3 stars
  • 2012
  • US/South Africa
  • 115 min
  • Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
  • Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick,
  • UK release: 24 February 2012

Rookie CIA agent Weston (Reynolds) is caretaking a safe house in South Africa when spook-turned-fugitive Frost (Washington) turns up carrying dangerous secrets. Assassins and mayhem follow. It doesn't always make sense but Espinosa directs in muscular style, with a cracking car chase and some fine acting. A weak ending…

Elsewhere on the web

Safe House - Trailer

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