The Blueprint 

So Some Stuff Happens in Safe House I Guess

SAFE HOUSE “I know you’re in there, Denzel! Because you’re in every bad movie!”

SAFE HOUSE “I know you’re in there, Denzel! Because you’re in every bad movie!”

NOTHING SURPRISING happens in Safe House; from its opening shot, every scene progresses exactly as you expect, and then it keeps going for what feels like 50 hours, and then Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild" rolls over its end credits. That's a mean, churning song; in any given snippet, it contains more life than anything or anyone in Safe House.

What Safe House contains instead is a lot of people repeatedly telling us how smart rogue CIA agent Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is. We never actually see him do anything smart, which is too bad, but anyway: Frost is a traitor, we're told, and has eluded the CIA for years, so naturally the first agent to get his hands on him for any amount of time is young, naïve, über-earnest Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds). Weston then spends Safe House's remaining 49 hours and 40 minutes trying not to let Frost trick him and also trying not to get in trouble from his grumpy bosses (Vera Farmiga, Sam Shepard, Mad-Eye Moody).

There are a lot of shootouts and a lot of car chases and a lot of fistfights and a lot of stabbings; somehow, though, even those are boring, probably because director Daniel Espinosa shoots them with a camera so shaky it'd give Jason Bourne epilepsy. And then it all ends, pretty much just as you'd guessed it would, and "No Church in the Wild" comes on, and hey, if nothing else, at least that song's pretty good.

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Safe House
Rated R · 117 min. · 2012
Official Site:
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writer: David Guggenheim
Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shephard, Rubén Blades, Nora Arnezeder, Robert Patrick, Sebastian Roche and Tanit Phoenix


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