Monthly Archives: February 2012

Safe House film review

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Written by Zen Terrelonge

(Rating: 15, 115 mins) Starring – Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga.

Denzel Washington has always struck me as an intimidating figure. Whether it’s his performance from Training Day (insane and sadistic bent cop) that has stuck with me, the manic glint in his eye, or his complete disregard for haircuts, there’s something foreboding about him.

In Safe House, Washington plays Tobin Frost, a CIA agent that was the best of best until he betrayed his country and went rogue, disappearing completely off of the grid.

Matt Weston (Reynolds) is an ambitious young CIA agent, serving his time as a junior at a safe house in Cape Town, a location that must be monitored at all hours for interrogations to take place. The trouble is that interrogations very rarely take place and Matt finds himself climbing the walls for 12-hours a day as he monitors the empty building, desperate to leave and get into the field.

Soon enough the plucky cadet gets more than he could of dreamed of, as Frost gets frogmarched to the house accompanied by a team that want to rip every conceivable shred of information out of him by controversial means.

However, it isn’t just the CIA that wants Frost, an unknown group of hired guns are tailing the A-list government man and Weston is forced to make an escape with him in order to stay alive and of course, achieve a promotion.

David Barlow (Gleeson) and Catherine Linklater (Farmiga) are Weston’s CIA HQ contacts who give their inexperienced colleagues instructions from afar, until they’re assigned to fly out to Cape Town to determine just how exactly the hired guns located the safe house.

Washington gets a chance to showcase the acting talent we all know he has, somewhat drawing upon his stint in Training Day to play mind games with the accompanying newbie, effectively getting under his skin, something Washington admitted he had fun with on set too.

Meanwhile, Reynolds is given the opportunity to prove he has more to offer than simply providing a quick mouth and a sharp tongue as demonstrated in most films, delivering a convincing performance as a headstrong, passionate patriot that gets thrown straight into a world he’s only read about.

The film itself though isn’t exactly original. There’s plenty of films around based upon crooked government agencies and secrets that are up for sale to the highest bidder, but that said, Safe House still makes for decent viewing.

Safe House is in cinemas now.