December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

October 5, 2012

Safe (2012)

When it's over, what do you get when you mix the Russian mob, the Chinese triad, and the NYPD?  A lot of flying bullets and execution style killings.  Jason Statham corners the action market once again as a rebel without a cause, who finds a cause in an 11 year old Chinese girl whose memory holds a numerical code to unlock a safe worth millions.  Luke (Statham) is an ex-cop on the verge of suicide when he meets Mei (Catherine Chan), who offers him a second chance at life.  Together, they take on the three factions, including some dirty cops from Luke's old precinct.  The storyline plays like an old record, predictable to the end.  I knew from the get go who was going to die and who would come out on top in the end.  After all, it's a Jason Statham film, patented to the specifications that made him so successful as an action hero.  I've come to expect him to kick some serious butt without breaking a sweat.  And style. He does everything with style – from his martial arts moves to pulling the trigger.  The choreography of the shoot-outs were impressive, reminding me of gritty cop films from the 80's, to the likes of To Live and Die in LA (1985). Safe didn't have any bells and whistles, no elaborate stunt scenes, but it did have focus, and for that, I thoroughly enjoyed this shoot 'em up flick. The film tightly converged four stories into one, with Mei as the centerpiece. Where the film lacked in character development, it made up in momentum as each story came together in layers, leaving no loose ends, building up to the climax.  However, don't expect a huge hand-to-hand combat scene in the end, because it doesn't happen. But, frown not, there's plenty of Statham action throughout the film. There's no confusion in the end, and all players get what they deserve (living or dead),  offering closure to the story along with great entertainment value.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5


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