Jason Statham stars in writer-director Boaz Yakin’s latest action movie, Safe, and his performance packs a punch. Famous for playing tough guys in films such as Crank and Snatch, Statham does not disappoint in this adrenaline-filled thriller. With plenty of car chases, fistfights and daring escapes, this crime story promises to be one of the hottest box office picks when it hits theaters this weekend.
Statham plays Luke Wright, a down-and-out former boxer in New York City with a mysterious past and enemies in the Russian mafia. When he comes to the rescue of a little Chinese girl, Mei (Catherine Chan), they find themselves on the run from the Russians, the Chinese Triads and the cops. Mei, like Wright, is much more than she seems. Since her mind works like a computer, the Triads have been using her to “count” their profits without leaving a paper trail. As it turns out, she also knows the complicated code to a safe that is coveted by the city’s entire criminal population. Can Wright figure out a way to protect Mei when she’s the most wanted person in New York City?
Like a boxing match, the action in Safe comes fast and furious. Director Yakin tells his story with brutal efficiency; the movie runs only 94 minutes. Yet, Yakin manages to portray the complex web of rivalries and crooked deals involving the Russians, the Triads, corrupt police officers and even the city’s mayor, Danny Tremello (Chris Sarandon). Yakin squeezes in many dazzling chase scenes and fight sequences, taking Wright and Mei through packed restaurants, night clubs and city streets.
Apparently the most dangerous place to be is in public. Mobsters and cops alike never hesitate to start shooting in busy public areas, which makes the film delightfully chaotic, but a little unrealistic. The body count racks up pretty quickly; even Mei would have trouble keeping track. The fights are well choreographed, and Statham’s Wright can really swing a punch, but the movie rushes through so much violence that the audience might feel a little numb by the end.
This thriller provides blunt, straightforward action with a talented cast. On the Russian side, Sándor Técsy and Joseph Sikora ooze a terrific Slavic sleaziness as mob boss Emile Docheski and his son Vassily. Among the Chinese mobsters, James Hong and Reggie Lee give great performances as boss Han Jiao and his right-hand man, Quan Chang. Despite strong performances all around, Statham and his young co-star still shine brightest. The movie relies more on action than humor, but the fabulous bickering between Wright and Mei brings a lot of laughs.
For fans of action movies, this film delivers great entertainment and fast-paced visual thrills. Yakin may rush through the story too quickly for some, but the plot draws the audience in, and Wright and Mei make awesome unlikely sidekicks. Find out more by visiting the official movie website. You can watch it in theaters now, so grab your crew for a night out.