(I) (2012)

Critic Reviews



Based on 25 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Boaz Yakin's slick direction, marked by quick cuts, unstinting energy and a lack of sentimentality, makes the action scenes satisfying. But he's a better director than writer.
There's a back story to this, and it's actually sort of witty.
There are zero surprises, but it looks good, moves well through a trim running time and wields its clichés with defiant aplomb.
The violence has the straightforward, unflinching characteristic evident in "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction," although Yakin's dialogue falls considerably short of Tarantino's, both in terms of substance and offbeat humor.
There's nothing terribly original about Safe, but it's a suitably grimy playground for action cinema's reigning pit bull.
Safe's primary contribution to the burgeoning Jason-Statham-kicks-everyone's-ass subgenre is setting three of its set pieces in crowded New York City venues (a subway car, a hotel dining room, and a Chinatown nightclub) where shootouts lead to believable mass-exodus pandemonium.
Safe has more action than intrigue (or logic), and it's boilerplate vicious. It may satisfy Statham's fans, but they - like he - would do well to enlarge their expectations.
It has neither the Red Bull-fueled crudeness of "Crank" nor the Frenchified lunatic vitality of the "Transporter" movies; it's not even as cheaply entertaining as the generic hit-man retread "The Mechanic." Safe shows Statham comfortably treading water, proving all the things he no longer needs to prove.
Though Safe initially seems a little darker and more thoughtful than the British star's previous comic-book escapades in "Death Race," "The Expendables" or the "Transporter" trilogy, it ultimately reverts to testosterone-heavy formula.
Statham is still playing it safe in Safe, but vulnerability is showing through the cracks.
None of this bears much or any resemblance to the real world, but the violence crunches, the editing snaps and the humorous one-liners pop at well-timed junctures.
Safe arrives filled with bombast and sneers but barely any thrills.

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