Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
The Perfect Night In
Great Movies From Warner Bros.
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jason Statham
Catherine Chan
Chris Sarandon.
Directors
Boaz Yakin.
Screenwriters
Boaz Yakin.
Running Time
94 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Miss Julie
2 Star Empire Rating
Second Mother, The
4 Star Empire Rating
No Escape
2 Star Empire Rating
Ricki And The Flash
2 Star Empire Rating
Dope
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating

Safe
Don't tell mom, the babysitter's Statham


submit to reddit


Plot
Mei (Chan), a ten year-old Chinese maths genius, is brought to New York by Triads. After she has memorised a number code, Mei is abducted by Russian mobsters, but escapes. Luke Wright (Statham), a down-and-out city man, sees the girl being chased and intervenes, ultimately setting him against the Triads, the Russians, crooked cops and the Mayor.


Review
Safe
Despite a hit-and-miss filmography which balances every Crank with a Killer Elite, Jason Statham is the best tough-guy male lead currently at the top of his game. Here, he gets a terrific showcase in the gritty, cynical, laconic style of the Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin or Clint Eastwood vehicles of the 1970s.

An agile hardman in fight, chase and stunt scenes (note his unconventional way of getting on and off subway trains), Statham flexes acting muscles as his burnout character comes to life and finds greater purpose in a) protecting a small child and b) taking down three whole factions of New York bad guys in one night.

A confident prologue hops back and forth in time, doling out story snippets which set grown-up hero and child heroine on an unstoppable collision course. Here, Statham’s Luke Wright is established as a former garbage collector/cage fighter who has failed to throw a fight and is cursed by Russian hoods. They murder his wife but leave him alive with the promise to kill anyone he makes friends with — even the bum in a homeless shelter to whom he gives a pair of shoes. Meanwhile, Mei, a young numbers whizz with a photographic memory, is enslaved to a Triad boss (veteran James Hong) — who hates computers and electronic data trails — and learns how to survive in a ruthless business.

Once the duo get together — working up a not-cute bond which adds a touch of humour to the grittiness — the film takes place over a long, busy night. Writer-director Boaz Yakin, who’s been making respectable stuff lately (Remember The Titans) but started with offbeat little pictures (Fresh), can stage a shoot-out or a punch-up with the best of them. He constantly ups the stakes, pitting our hero against don’t-give-a-hoot baddies who smugly mow down innocents because they mistakenly think they’re untouchable — not realising until halfway through that the ‘garbage collector’ gig on Luke’s CV is a euphemism for what he really did for the city. Unashamed of its old-school roots, it has an up-to-the-moment feel, exemplified by Mark Mothersbaugh’s exciting score — which evokes the pulse-pounding chords of vintage Lalo Schifrin or Jerry Goldsmith without imitating them.


Verdict
A rough, exhausting, exhilarating action picture with a payoff which would have delighted Sam Fuller or Howard Hawks. The Stath — an actual Olympian, remember — is on top form.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Safe
Empire Star Rating

RE: Great Fun

Safe (2012) Well...talk about double cross, intrigue and back stabbing, this film has it all and you never know who the hell's gonna get it next. Statham is back, well he never left but he's back on his own killing everybody in his path whilst being rather nifty with a gun. Like Seagal, Statham is pretty much always cast as either a cop, elite cop, military special forces, ex-cop or ex-military special forces, the same role every time. Now this isn't a huge issue but the attract... More

Posted by Phubbs at 19:22, 09 September 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Safe Review

As above. It was really very good & Statham is on top form throughout. It's a decent enough story, the director has done a solid job and I really enjoyed the performance of Reggie Lee as one of the main bad dudes. 4/5 ... More

Posted by Lucky Day at 21:06, 08 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Safe Review

Really enjoyed this film - no great surprises, but a solid well made action movie. ... More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 20:37, 08 May 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Let's get real here.

In Hong Kong, young Mei, who has a special gift for remembering numbers, is taken from her mother’s care by gangsters who want to use her talent, and taken to New York, where the local Triad leader uses her to help keep him in control of much of the city. Wondering around the city is Luke Wright is a homeless guy who was once a cage fighter, but he blew a rigged fight, causing the Russian mafia to murder his wife. Mei is asked to remember a special, extra-long number, but is snatched from th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 11:00, 07 May 2012 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Evil Media: Haunted TVs, Tapes And Tunes
Ten sinister reasons to go off-grid

Spectre – Everything You Need To Know
Empire's essential briefing on James Bond's 24th outing

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)