MOVIE REVIEW: Statham’s ‘Safe’: Bang-Bang Movie with a Drama Twist
The highly predictable Jason Statham’s latest movie "Safe" which is now showing in Bacolod theaters seems to foreshadow the development of a seriousrole for him. It is still the predictable Hi-Tech a la Lito Lapid-Bong Revilla adrenalin secreting punches, leaps, kicks, car chasing, lots of bloody bang-bang-bang and angle shots dizziness causing camera movements.
"Safe" discovery Catherine Chan playing the role of a 12-year old Chinese mathematics genius with photographic memory "Mei" and her series of gory adventures before and after meeting Luke Wright (Statham) is very reminiscent of Bruce Willis’ Mercury and the Sixth Sense. Fresh from the Die Hard adrenalin raising trilogy, Willis’ was remembered to be the relatively passive-pathetic lead actor that has to deal with a young boy.
The Sly Sylvester Stallone had a comedy Oscar role, five Rocky (s), three Rambo (s) and suddenly the seeming low profile denouement in Daylight. Although still acting the hero role but no punches and kicks. Daylight projected Stallone as a suspended from service fireman.
Likewise, Statham do not project the overly James Bond role in "Safe". He is stereotyped as the debonair Transporter, also a trilogy, but not as the savior and guardian of a young girl in "Safe". There are no tuxedos for him, he bought a customized blazer but wore a dirty rubber shoes and checked in a hotel where he thought safe for the young Mei.
Mei asked, "Why did you save me?" Luke replied, "It was you who saved me." It was a bit disappointing that Statham has nothing more to offer in terms of acting and projection but warmth is beginning to develop. His answer was loaded considering that he was an Ex-NYPD cop, the Big Apple’s hardest cop – once upon a time but now occupied the screen with heads down almost suicidal after a Russian outlawed ring murdered his wife.
He is the "Unsafe" character chased by the Russians, Chinese, corrupt Manhattan politicians and his own former colleagues who are in cahoots with all the bad guys. "It was Mei who saved him" because he can turn the abduction using the million dollar genius of the young girl as his capital and collateral to hedge a deal.
Using a cell phone, he launched a solo conspiracy by letting all his enemies, the Russians, Chinese, colleagues and politicians alike quarrel among the booties while softly explaining to Mei:
Mei: I can memorize anything. They showed me a very long number.
Luke Wright: Was there anything interesting to you about these numbers?
Mei: It’s not just random, there’s a sequence.
Luke Wright: It’s a code.
He was successful and he captured the heart of Mei. In the end, the dialogue was heartwarming. "Are we safe?" the terrified girl asks Luke. "Till my dying day," says Luke looking at her for some few seconds more.*