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Safe (I) (2012)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  27 April 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 77,902 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?


Boaz Yakin previously directed the 2003 film, Uptown Girls, a film which also deals with a troubled adult bonding with an intelligent child. 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 Movie Friends: Prashant Prabhakar (2013) See more »


Clumzy Soul
Written by Yuli Kim
Performed by Alexander Kogan
Courtesy of Passagio Entertainment, LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

The editing is keen, with snazzy transitions, tricks to amp up the intensity of violence, and creative methods of boosting the body count.
26 April 2012 | by (www.GoneWithTheTwins.com) – See all my reviews

Safe fulfills the expectations of modern thrillers with its breakneck pacing, over-the-top violence, and explosive action sequences. Don't let the numerous location changes within the film's opening few minutes fool you – there's little time wasted on lengthy introductions or complex motives as the tumultuous mayhem starts quickly and refuses to subside until the final frame. The brutal combat borders on the monotonous, but it also unflinchingly delivers what its audience wants to see, without stopping for development. While you'll likely guess who wins each round of warfare, clever moments of pandemonium and self-reflective humor arise from the maelstrom to reveal the film's slightly more insightful mindset on cathartic thrills. But then it's right back to Jason Statham shoving a fork in someone's throat.

11-year-old Mei (Catherine Chan) is abducted and forced to work for ruthless Chinese gangsters due to her extraordinary skills in memorization and mathematics. When Mei is given a numerical code to a safe containing 30 million dollars, the Triad, the Russian mafia, and corrupt New York officials all want her – dead or alive. Luckily for her, disgraced former cop Luke Wright (Jason Statham) happens upon the fleeing girl and rescues her. Determined to protect Mei, Wright launches a full-scale war against the criminal leaders and their vast armies of merciless killers.

Laudation goes to this film for knowing exactly what it is and not attempting anything out of its reach, hiding behind underdeveloped themes, or muddling genres. It doesn't waste time with Luke's history, in-depth personality traits, supporting people in his life, or even the visuals of his wife. In a matter of seconds, he's a lone wolf with nothing left to live for. He's the only honest cop in Manhattan, has a soft spot for victims of social injustice, and can kick some ass like a one-man army – all qualities that make him incompatible with comrades, the authorities, and villainy. In a world where everyone is corrupt and out to get him, Luke must battle Russian thugs, Chinese gangsters, police, politicians, and even pickpockets, armed quite heavily with martial arts skills, muscles (as evidenced by the very first scene he's in, sans shirt), an arsenal of random guns picked up along the way, and a salvo of hilariously macho catch phrases.

The editing is keen, with snazzy transitions, tricks to amp up the intensity of violence, and creative methods of boosting the body count. There's plenty of chaos for the sake of spectacle, and although boomingly extravagant, it's never augmented by the annoying shaky cam. The bad guys get it good and go through the obligatory merciless errands to deserve it. The climax is the highlight, with surprisingly unexpected bluster arising from the least likely route of commotion. Always aware of how generic action movies play out, Safe goes against the grain to deliver unique stunts, unpredictable showdowns, and unanticipated fun. It's a brisk 94 minutes that keeps the punches coming – in a guilty pleasure, mindless action/adventure variety.

  • The Massie Twins (GoneWithTheTwins.com)

27 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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