Daniel Espinosa's SAFE HOUSE
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This formulaic potboiler has one too many ridiculous shoot-outs and car chases to be credible. Denzel Washington is fun to watch, as always, but I found the film annoying due not only to been-there-done-that expectations but because it just looks bad.
Daylight scenes are garish with odd color balancing. Night scenes are poorly lit. To top it off, hand-held “shaky cam” techniques are significantly over-used, even in scenes that are supposed to be intimate and emotional (e.g., the good-bye at the train station). Such scenes are just plain annoying and reminiscent of too many TV commercials striving for “reality.”
It’s not an entire waste of money. We get to see glimpses of urban and rural South Africa, and that’s interesting. And as mentioned above, Denzel Washington is credible. But this is no Book of Eli or Taking of Pelham 123. My recommendation: wait till it’s available on a streaming channel.
Review copyright (c) 2012 by Dennis D. McDonald