'Safe' Review: Statham's Latest Hero Has a Heart of Gold

'Safe' Review: Statham's Latest Hero Has a Heart of Gold

Imagine being forced to experience something so horrible over and again that you’d rather take your own life than die than endure it any longer.

That’s the dilemma faced by former NYC supercop named Luke Wright in the new action film “Safe.” Jason Statham stars as Luke, an officer who lost his career after whistle blowing on corrupt cops and has been scraping together a living by taking fake falls in mixed martial arts matches.

Problem is, just the night before, Luke threw a punch rather than receiving a barrage of them, putting his opponent on the edge of death. Now his mob bosses want revenge for losing millions on the fight, and they’ve already killed Luke’s wife.

But rather than taking him out, too, they let him live – with the promise that they will follow him the rest of his days, killing anyone he gets close to. Plus, he has two days to move out of his apartment or they’ll rub out his elderly landlady first.

The situation leaves Luke suicidal until he sees a young, scared and obviously lost Chinese girl hiding from the same Russian mobsters that he’s ducking. He springs into action to save her and find out what’s going on. Her innocence gives him a new purpose for living.

A rambunctiously gritty action thriller with a strong heart beating under the surface, “Safe” marks an enormous leap forward in quality for the British action star. The violence in “Safe” is frequent and strong, but not exploitative. For example, countless other action films would show an innocent wife being raped or murdered or both, but director Boaz Yakin – whose resume includes the family-friendly smash hit “Remember the Titans”- implies that the hero’s wife was killed via the reaction of the hero to walking in, and back out of their bedroom.

Numerous spectacular gunfights, fistfights, kicks and foot and car chases wreak havoc all over Manhattan, but they are kept on a level that’s fun for adult fans of classic action films like “Die Hard,” “Total Recall” and ‘The French Connection.”

“Safe” has an impressive moral undertone because the hero not only is driven to help a young innocent child at direct risk to his own life, but he is also driven to expose corruption whenever possible even if looking the other way would benefit him greatly.


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