Movie Review: Safe House

I never thought there is such a thing as being a CIA housekeeper. But in Safe House, we got to peek into the life of someone who "keeps" house for the government in case the place becomes needed. When that would be is another story.

Safe House stars Oscar® winner Denzel Washington who plays Tobin Frost, a former CIA agent who surrenders himself at the US Embassy in South Africa after being on the run for the last 10 years. He is brought to a safe house manned by Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a rookie operative who has been doing housekeeping for the past 12 months.

Weston has been raring for a chance to prove himself but his inactive and backwater post in Cape Town seems to prevent him from being a full-fledged agent. Finally, the opportunity comes when the first and only house guest he's had proves to be more trouble than expected.

When the safe house is attacked by unknown enemies, Frost and Weston escape and try to find a way back to the United States. Things become complicated when the mercenaries keep finding them and they don't know anymore who wants both of them dead.

Frost, on the other hand, has been giving up military secrets to anyone willing to buy causing a lot of damage to his home country. Out of the blue, he appears on the grid bearing a deep secret and it's anyone's guess why. After fleeing the safe house, the two unlikely partners have to work together to figure out if the attackers were sent by terrorists or from someone inside the CIA. Who can they trust now before they're both eliminated from the dangerous game?

This is the first time I've seen Ryan Reynolds really shine. Yes, he was cute and funny as Green Lantern but his acting prowess wasn't showcased much there. In Safe House, he was able to prove that he can tackle a difficult role and passed with flying colors. He was exceptional during the scene when he was stabbed by broken glass. The emotional scenes between him and his girl friend were also very touching.

Denzel Washington's acting is as noteworthy as ever. He made me laugh with his delivery of sarcastic lines complete with poker face. And he did very well in the fight scenes. His character is actually scary :p

Story-wise, I wasn't that sold about the ending. It just left me with questions that I guess would forever remain unanswered. What were they? For one, "When the files were finally leaked to the press, wouldn't that endanger Weston's life wherever he goes from then on? He went against the CIA after all." I know you won't get what I mean if you haven't seen the film yet. But perhaps you'll also wonder the same after you've watched it.

I should also mention that the too closeup shots, for me, have become distracting at times because, instead of focusing on the dialogues and story, my mind would wander and notice a lot of things on the actors' faces like their skin or their eye bags or even the color of the lipstick. Maybe it's a girl thing that we notice those tiny details? I don't know. Perhaps, it's just me. 

Overall though, Safe House is a good film. Adventure-Action-Thriller movie enthusiasts would definitely enjoy watching this. Catch Safe House in Philippine cinemas starting today, February 10. It is released and distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corporation.

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