Film: "Safe"; Cast: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Chris Sarandon; Director: Boaz Yakin; Rating: **1/2
When it comes to directors, there is something called the auteur theory with the helmsman being looked upon as the author of the film. Hollywood does not believe in this theory. And yet, if you look at "Safe", you'll realise it believes in another type where instead of the director, it is the star who is the author of the film.
For "Safe" is nothing but another typical Jason Statham film where we see him punching, kicking, shooting and driving his way out of tons of bad guys to protect something precious.
Though his brand of movies will not much appeal to the intelligentsia, it has enough action for it to be a fun ride despite its cliches.
A lost soul and ex-cop Wright (Jason Statham) finds purpose in life when he sees a young Chinese girl Wei (Catherine Chan) being pursued by everyone - Russian mafia, Chinese triads and even corrupt cops. With everyone bent on capturing her for the information she's carrying in her brain, Wright becomes her protector.
"Safe" is a very safe film to watch for action junkies. There are enough action and death-defying stunts for their pleasure and even a little semblance of a story. Yet it does not try to do anything else.
In that sense, it ends up becoming a metaphor for its own name - it plays it extremely safe. And there is perhaps no other way they could have played it.
The speciality of an action star in an action film is its action sequences. And in this department, it does boast of some inventive work.
Statham is given enough opportunities to show how fast he can move and how quickly he can kick, punch and shoot and how fast he is behind the wheels - typical elements in all his films.
For fans of his brand of action, it is a satisfying ride. For those with a little brain, there isn't much else. The story is predictable and so are the dialogues. And though the story does try to be a little inventive with a few twists, it is still predictable enough.
And well, if you like it and enough people like it, there might even be a sequel. Enough room is left for the same.