DVD Review by Kam Williams
Headline: Denzel and Reynolds’ Spy Thriller Released on DVD
Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is a veteran CIA Agent who has been on the run since being suspected of selling military secrets to America’s enemies. By contrast, straitlaced Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a newcomer to the Agency itching for action. Unfortunately, the latter’s been stationed in South Africa for months where he’s only had to maintain a backwater safe house that’s never been needed.
Until now. The pair’s paths cross soon after Frost decides to come in from the proverbial cold in Cape Town because an army of assassins is closing in on him. The renegade spy surrenders at the U.S. Consulate and is left in Weston’s custody.
However, all hell breaks loose right after a team of CIA interrogators arrives at the safe house, when the place unexpectedly comes under attack by a bunch of gun-toting, bloodthirsty mercenaries. Frost and West barely escape with their lives while all the other agents perish during the assault.
With no idea why the supposedly-secure location had been compromised or whether there’s anybody whose word they can trust, the rookie and the rogue suddenly realize their survival depends on mutual cooperation. That is the intriguing point of departure of Safe House, a riveting, espionage thriller featuring non-stop action and an ever-escalating, high body count.
The movie marks the English-language directorial debut of Sweden’s Daniel Espinosa, who must be credited for coaxing yet another vintage performance from two-time, Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington (for Glory and Training Day). In addition, he allowed romantic comedy regular Ryan Reynolds to prove himself capable of playing more the handsome hunk opposite the blonde-of-the-moment.
The talented co-stars not only acquit themselves well in the convincingly-choreographed fight sequences, but their credible chemistry cultivated during downtime enables the audience to forgive the periodic holes in the picture’s Swiss cheese script. A pair of likable unlikely buddies you just love rooting for in a pyrotechnics-driven, political potboiler with more twists than a Chubby Checker concert.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity and pervasive graphic violence.
In English, Afrikaans and Spanish with subtitles.
Running time: 115 minutes
Distributor: Universal Studios Home EntertainmentBlu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Making Safe House; Hand-to-Hand Action; Building the Rooftop Chase; Inside the CIA; Behind the Action; Safe Harbor: Cape Town; Shooting the Safe House Attack; digital copy of the film; pocket Blu App; and BD-Live.