Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
A DEA agent and a naval intelligence officer find themselves on the run after a botched attempt to infiltrate a drug cartel. While fleeing, they learn the secret of their shaky alliance: Neither knew that the other was an undercover agent.
Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA rookie who is manning a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) the CIA's most wanted rogue agent is captured and taken to the safe house. During Frost's interrogation, the safe house is overtaken by mercenaries who want Frost. Weston and Frost escape and must stay out of the gunmen's sight until they can get to another safe house. Written by
Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
In an early draft of the screenplay, Matt Weston's ability to catch up to Tobin Frost was explained thusly: during his time at the CIA's academy for new agents in training, "The Farm", Frost's file was assigned to Weston as his case study. Weston had memorized Frost's history and used this data to explain to the CIA leaders where Frost would go once he was on the run. The scenes where Weston tracks down Frost in the South African township were kept for the final draft, but altered so Weston used ad hoc research skills to locate his charge. See more »
When the two senior CIA agents are flying from Langley to South Africa they are shown in a Falcon 900 (Tri-Jet) in the air but they arrive in a Gulfstream. See more »
I'm here to make you aware of your rights... you have none, but you know that.
[looks at waterboarding towels in bucket]
The towels, you need six-hundreds. Those are 350, 375-gram weight. You're gonna need six-hundreds.
[looking at waterboarding bucket]
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed lasted 20 seconds.
They had six-hundreds.
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It is so very difficult to find new material when you piece together a governmental conspiracy movie. Safe House is able to do it to a point. The greatest success of this movie is the usage of modern film techniques. Too often the bulging budget and ability to edit in effects makes action/thriller movies extremely unrealistic. Safe House does the opposite. It takes all of these techniques and uses them to make the movie raw and real.
The actors were hand-picked perfectly for their roles. Ryan Reynolds is the actor you have to use when you want to put a likable, relatable family man in a difficult situation. As a CIA operative caught up in something far outside his experience, he fits in perfectly. As for Denzel Washington, there is little that he can't do. For the unique character of Tobin Frost, there is no better man to fill the role. Together they form a storyline that merely needs to be able to stand on its own two feet. The storyline does stand on its own. That being said, it is the weakest part of the movie. The twists have all been seen before. This movie doesn't offer new plot points to the old conspiracy theory movie. It merely adds new characters. The new characters are great, but it is not enough. In order for the movie to be great, it needed to give something new to the story.
I must say that the end was beautiful. Without giving anything away, it was gracefully preformed. It wrapped up the loose ends that too many other movies simply leave hanging. It adds a whole other dimension to Ryan Reynolds' character. It will, without a doubt, leave you wanting more but somehow completely satisfied.
Safe House is worth a trip to the theatre. With thrillers such as this one, the action is better on the big screen. Between the action and the actors, you will not be disappointed. Next to Liam Neeson's The Grey, this is one of the best action movies so far this year. The thing is, it could have been even better. Too bad.
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