The world of spies is always an interesting subject for movies. It has spawned big franchises like the Bond, Bourne and Mission Impossible series, but every year also sees a sprinkling of other spy related movies, movies like Salt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Spy Game, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Haywire immediately come to mind. Safe House is also set in the world from spies, but the setup is slightly different.
Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is the “concierge” of a safe house in Johannesburg, South Africa. As there are many safe houses around and not much is going on (no one is being held there) Matt has a pretty boring job. He has been there for months without anything happening and wants to be a field agent. That all changes when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is caught at the American embassy. The government has been looking for him for years since he’s known to trade sensitive information. He’s moved to the safehouse Matt is running and although everything goes smoothly, suddenly the safehouse is attacked and it’s up to Matt to take care of Tobin Frost while he is chased through the city. With no field experience and Frost being an expert in his field (who’s trying to escape) it’s a difficult task.
This movie had me hooked straight from the start. It immediately drops you into action and only gives you a few moments to catch your breath. The dynamics between Washington and Reynolds works. Washington comes across as a very threatening guy and Reynolds (who I’m not the biggest fan of) also convinces. It’s refreshing to see a movie not being set in an American city.
Safe House is a tense, action-packed thriller which I really enjoyed. It’s not a movie you’ll remember much about in a couple of years, but within the genre it’s very entertaining.