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Safe (2012)

What could’ve been Jason Statham’s pivotal role into the genre of semi-drama turned out to deflate before our eyes with the routine gun-fights and vengeful one-liners. The premise had the same old dirty stain of unoriginal that most action films these days are plagued with. Director Boaz Yakin whose previous films like Remember the Titans and Uptown Girls had a mix of great acting and heart-felt plots, fail to bring Safe to life. 

imdb: Mei, a young girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code, finds herself by the Triads, the Russian mob, and corrupt NTC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei's trail.

The only thing that makes Safe different from the reminiscent 'The Professional' is because Mei has a photographic memory. Judging from Yakin's previous films, it seems like he knows how to navigate the drama within the story. But even though he chose actors who could only provide a limited amount of emotions, the story left a lot of room for him to go wild. Usually with action films, it's common that either action or story get the short end of the stick and with Safe, both ends were shamefully lacking. Statham and friends have the usual lead bath from scene to scene without much interesting action tricks to show. If only American action films just put in that extra punch of effort to make truly inventive action films like say, The Raid: Redemption? How long can a battle last with just bullets flying from all direction? Quite a while it seems. The connection between Statham and Mei was not plausible. Statham is known to be a man of action who has a seemingly endless amount of mystery surrounding him. And that's probably why we're not sick of him like we are with Tom Cruise or Bruce Willis (who btw, both have more than 3 films coming out this year, talk to me at the end of the year if you think otherwise). And so, to have Staham play a man who cares so deeply about this girl that he's willing to be showered in bullets, well come on. There were some genuine emotions seeping through but not enough to make us believe. C+

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