Mobbing through Statham’s ‘Safe’

Jhoanna Paola Ballaran

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The actor dubbed as 'the modern-day Schwarzenegger' is back with more action

YOU'RE SAFE WITH STATHAM. The action star doesn't flinch when it comes to protecting the ones that need protection. Movie still courtesy of Viva Films

MANILA, Philippines – One man cannot kill dozens of men armed with guns and other sophisticated weapons. But Jason Statham beats the odds, wiping out New York City’s finest Russian and Chinese mobs in his latest movie, Safe.

Written and directed by Boaz Yakin, Safe stars Statham with his trademark bone-breaking ferocity, metal punches, and divine assaults. He plays Luke Wright, an elite ex-cop-turned-cage-fighter-turned-vagrant-tramp who was mourning the loss of his pregnant wife in the hands of Russian mobs. While wandering through the streets of New York City, he comes across Mei (Catherine Chan), a 12-year-old kid with excellent photographic memory working for the Chinese Triad headed by Uncle Han (James Wong).

Things were going smoothly for Mei until the Russian mob powers down Chinese operations and tries to take her away for a code given to her by Uncle Han: a code for a safe containing millions of dollars. Mei escapes the Russians and both gangs hunt her. Wright (Statham) rescues her, outsmarting the bandits — even corrupt New York City officials.

I GOT YOUR BACK. Mei (Catherine Chan) and Wright (Jason Statham). Movie still from Viva Films

Safe is what you typically get from “the” Statham — crime, action, and bad-ass feats. I’m a fan of his movies, and I could say that this is the best Statham (movie) I’ve seen so far, better than The Mechanic and Transporter. His well-choreographed stunts (like the car chase scene and the Russian bar standoff) are more detailed, making them more realistic and exciting. There are lots of you-didn’t-see-it-coming scenes, too, because of the intense mob brutality shown in the film, plus that extra dose of hostility from the Russians, Chinese, and the police.

You will also see Statham’s usual movie character: a brusque man with a soft heart, reminding me of the 1994 film Leon: the Professional with Jean Reno and 12-year-old Natalie Portman. Statham, like Reno to Portman, is very protective of Chan for she “saved his life from himself.” Though their connection is incomparable to the Reno-Portman tandem, Statham and Chan managed to build rapport with the audience by bringing them the thrill and action of New York’s underworld.

Though there are minor hiccups in the film (inconsistencies in the storyline, for example) and too many characters’ accounts incorporated (which Yakin could have eliminated and still made no difference in the movie’s story). But these are just minor setbacks; Statham shows yet again why he’s called the contemporary counterpart of Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Overall, Safe is a cool and entertaining film that will leave you enthralled after watching it; a nice treat for Statham fans and action movie buffs. 

Safe is currently screening in theaters nationwide. –

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