Film & TV

"Safe" a Preposterously Enjoyable — or Enjoyably Preposterous — Action-Thriller

In Safe, a preposterously enjoyable — or enjoyably preposterous — action-thriller, Jason Statham headlines as disgraced NYPD supercop turned small-time cage fighter Luke, whose refusal to take a dive gets his wife murdered by the Russian Mafia. Banished to a remorseful life of homeless shelters and paranoia, our chrome-domed badass crawls up from rock bottom for some vengeance (read: justification to open arteries all over Manhattan) when he stumbles upon a 10-year-old Chinese prodigy (Catherine Chan) who has memorized a valuable numerical code. Protecting the young girl against a multifront underworld war of Russians, their Chinese Triad rivals, and the crooked-cop crew that tarnished his name for not taking payouts, Luke's self-imposed, redemptive mission fits snugly in his portrayer's cinematic wheelhouse — cracking skulls and then wise. Sleek visuals (a static, inside-the-car shot of a thug getting run over twice nabs two laughs) elevates the undeniably dopey script.

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Aaron Hillis is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.