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Safe (I) (2012)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  27 April 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 77,893 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 133 user | 256 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

Mei, a young girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code, finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob, and corrupt NYC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei's trail.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sándor Técsy ...
James Colby ...
Detective Lasky


In China, the girl Mei is a genius that looks like a computer in numbers. She is abducted by the Chinese Triads and the boss Han Jiao ends Mei to Chinatown, in New York, to help him in the control of his activities. Meanwhile, the fighter Luke Wright has his life destroyed when he wins a fight against the will of the Russian Mafia and accidentally kills his opponent. The Russian mobsters kill his wife and the alcoholic Luke wanders on the streets and hostels with no objective in life. One day, Han Jiao asks Mei to memorize a long number and soon the Russian Mafia abducts the girl from the Chinese mobs. She escapes from the mobsters she is chased by the Russians; by the corrupt detectives from the NYPD; and by the Triads. When Luke sees the girl fleeing from the Russian mobs in the subway, he protects the girl and discovers that the number she had memorized is the combination of a safe where the Triads keep 30 million dollars. Luke is an elite agent and uses his skills to protect the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She has the code. He is the key.


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence throughout, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

27 April 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El código del miedo  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,892,539 (USA) (27 April 2012)


$17,120,019 (USA) (15 June 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scenes at the mayor's mansion were filmed at the Bloomfield estate in Villanova, Pennsylvania. On April 4th (less than one month before the film's release), the garage burst into flames, starting what would eventually become a four alarm fire that destroyed most of the third floor of the main house. See more »


The dead sneaker guy in the homeless shelter is still breathing - although he is supposed to be dead already. See more »


[first lines]
Emile Docheski: You're lying to me.
See more »


Referenced in Good Morning America: Episode dated 16 April 2012 (2012) See more »


Pipa 2
Arranged by Cheng Yu
Licensed by Arrangement with Extreme Productions Music USA (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

Safe Works
29 April 2012 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Ironically, the most frustrating aspect of "Safe" is reading the streaming subtitles for Russian and Chinese. Being that I speak neither I'm straining to absorb the detailed dialogue and narrative threads. Yes, Director and Writer Boaz Yakin's story is far from complex, but you forget that the words really don't matter here. Jason Statham is the badass with a big heart protecting a young Chinese girl prodigy played by Catherine Chan from the Russian mob and the Triad, because she memorized a series of numbers that accesses dire information. Much of "Safe" is sheer brute force. Statham's signature strike to the bad guy's trachea punctuates this. Statham's fighting sequences are high impact and resonate with awesome speed and power.

Curiously, many critics slam Statham and Yakin for doing formulae and not stretching Statham's range. This is craftsman-like formulae. Statham delivers the action we want to see on screen. The fight scenes in the Russian and Triad clubs are amazing. I particularly loved the scene where Statham's Luke meets Chan's Mei in the New York subway. Statham viciously disposes the Russian thugs after Mei with hooks, kicks, throws, and joint shattering locks. He is the best martial arts action star right now. He always offsets his physical elegance and power with a gruff austere visage. I think he actually displays more of his humanity than in other movies. He tears as he surrenders himself to the men who murdered his wife and child. What makes "Safe" work is Statham and Chan's gentle bond.

Chan is more than just the cute kid in peril. She makes Mei even smarter than she lets on. She is the math genius forced to memorize a series of numbers. In a quiet scene Mei tells Luke, "They are not random." Luke gets, "They're a code." Don't under estimate the enrollment of Statham as protector of Chan. Chan's Mei confesses to Luke, "I don't need another father. I need a friend." I loved when Luke tells Mei that she will be safe "until my dying day".

When we meet Luke (Statham) in the present and through a series of flashbacks, he appears as a second rate cage fighter, now homeless. He mistakenly floors a YouTube sensation (nice touch by Yakin) in a fight, and puts him in the hospital. The Russian mob kills his wife and unborn child, because he did not throw the match. A lot does not add up. Luke is a world class fighter. There is more to his pathology that the script should have shaded. It turns out Luke was one of the toughest cops in the city, who had honor in a corrupt police force. More so his relationship with evil Chris Sarandon as Mayor Tremello hints at Luke's darker origins as Black Ops assassin. Luke's former partner now enemy Alex (charismatic Anson Mount) is the sellout who still works for the Mayor. Mei (Chan) is the innocent math prodigy brought over to the States to work for the Triads. Leader Han (paternally evil James Hong) has Mei memorize vital numbers, not trusting computers and the like.

At his lowest point Luke sees Mei in the subway and from his point of view Luke sees that she saves his life. He also realizes that Mei is being chased by members of the Russian mob that he knows all too well. Yakin is clumsy here in the narrative synchronicity. I buy it, because I want to see Statham kick some ass. Really, I was in with the touching chemistry of Statham and Chan. They have an understated love for each other. Mei, who is beholding to Luke, confesses, "We save each other…"

In the great showdown of good and powerful evil, I initially thought I was short changed. Then I realized heroes generate other heroes. There are many goofy things going on with "Safe" and they are forgiven. "Safe" gets that the hero always protects the one he or she loves. I really liked "Safe".

37 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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