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 »
Post stadium scene, after a foot chase and shootout, Frost places his gun against Weston's left ear as Weston is slumped in an alley. Frost fires his pistol beside Weston's ear into the brick wall behind him, presumably rupturing his eardrum as Weston slumps over and cusps it. Later in a restroom, Weston is treating his wounds and bleeding eardrum, but it's his right ear. See more »
"I'm not your only enemy tonight." Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington)
In Safe House, Tobin Frost is one cool fugitive, but then he's played by one of Hollywood's coolest actors: Denzel Washington. Guarding him is young CIA agent Matt Weston played by the prominent film actor, Ryan Reynolds. Together they make good acting possible; if only this crime adventure would let them.
Instead, their moments are mere interludes to the cacophony of guns and gore, a smorgasbord of thriller clichés planted in neat rows by director Daniel Espinosa and blossoming glass and guts ad nauseam. As the cool Frost escapes numerous captures and Weston follows him (they've discovered the "safe house" is not so safe), I wish they'd sit and talk for an hour because the older agent has much to tell the younger about love (Matt has a questioning girlfriend) and survival in the den of thieves known as espionageglobal that is. Frost has a computer file with the names of bad cops, some of them friends and supervisors. So nobody's safe.
Among the vulnerable are seriously good actors like Sam Shephard, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, and Robert Patrick. The shame is they have parts so formulaic as to obliterate their acting excellence.
Anyway, you get the routine. The only surprise is that this type of film continues to entertain us even when we know the plot points. In part that's because we like to see good/bad guys played by the likes of Denzel work their way through some challenging puzzles and achieve some success just as we try to do in our daily lives. Also we get to see multiple car crashes without being in them, a wish we may have subconsciously when we experience road rage.
I suggest you leave your rational hat at home (most of the plot makes little sense) and wear your thrill-seeking one because this film will fulfill all your demands for excitement without touching a nerve in your left brain.
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