There’s this incredible moment in Safe House when…THE CAMERA STOPS @#$%& SHAKING!
It is simply incredible how a perfectly good, gratuitously violent, well-acted action flick can be ruined by the decision to make this movie feel as if you’re watching it while doing 60 MPH in a Big Wheel on a dirt road littered with gravel. Seriously?
As for the plot, well, read the preceding paragraph — that’s really all you need to know.
As for the rest of it, Denzel Washington’s performance as CIA operative-turned-traitor Tobin Frost is as fine a performance as Washington ever gives, which is just about as good as you can get.
Ryan Reynolds, as a young agent in charge of the safe house to which Frost is initially brought after turning himself in, makes up for the horror show that was Green Lantern.
And though some of the action sequences and hand to hand combat scenes are brutal, they’ll please any fan of stunt choreography.
Even so, the only way to truly enjoy Safe House is to bob your head while looking at the screen to offset the overzealous camera shake.
The technique makes it seem as if director Daniel Espinosa was attempting to overcompensate for a weakness in the story, which ironically would’ve felt significantly more realistic and organic without the constant camera manipulation. Having said that, it’s always a joy to watch Denzel act, whether it’s through a shaky camera or a telescope.
Rating: Three out of five stars.