Sunday, May 13, 2012

Boaz Yakin: Safe

Jason Statham, Safe, Lionsgate Films, 2012,

In tune with a multidimensional muscularity, writer-director Boaz Yakin finds just about the right combination of fury and humanity in his entertaining actioner, Safe.

Whats most surprising about the visceral thriller is that it affords Jason Statham, that chiseled man who fills men and women with envy and desire, a deeper understanding of his character, or more of a precise stage to enact his inner turmoils. As the tortured yet loving hero, in charge of protecting a young girl while fighting Chinese Triad and Russian mobsters, we are getting doses of both Cassavetes' Gloria and Statham's own Transporter series. Which is exactly what it seems Yakin intended for us to be reminded of.

Statham's conviction in the lead reminds us why he is the greatest action film star in the world now, even if most of his pictures are mediocre. Here, his heart is on his sleeve more than ever before, and we feel the burn in his eyes going straight to his pounding heart. Stefan Czapsky's camera obstructs our known world with teased colors and textures. Robert John Burke and Chris Sarandon lend strong character actor support,

Though the familiarity of the plot breaks through our diversion at times, Yakin does a wonderful job of controlling the proceedings. This side of Crank, these are some of Stathams best scenes, some of his best acting.

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