Back in January, I wrote a piece on my blog which listed a few movies that I predicted would be bad based on their trailers alone. I think it’s safe to say that I was right about Skyline, but Safe? What appeared to be a cookie cutter excuse to see Jason Statham kick people? Well…
…I was wrong. How could this be? It looked like something you’d find at a discounted price in a Big Lots bin. It had all the elements to go wrong, but it ended up being just right. Maybe I should go back and amend my blog entry.
A book I should probably read.
In the film, Jason Statham stars as an ex cage fighter (yes!) with a mysterious special ops past. His life ruined by the Russian mob, Jason lives as a hobo on the verge of suicide. But, before he can do himself in, he ends up protecting a little Chinese girl from corrupt cops, the Chinese and Russian mobs. Can Jason save his soul by saving this girl?
First off, this is Jason Statham at his best. The title of this film ought to be The Stath Wrecks Your Shit; almost every character gets shot at or punched by him. He even runs over a poor guy twice. And his most glorious moment? On a subway train, after beating up a gang of Russians, he holds one at gun point. The Russian asks “The garbage collector? You?” (This Russian was one of the guys that put him in his current situation. He also thought he used to be a garbage man). Statham smiles a bit, and responds (I’m gonna paraphrase) “Nah mate. You got the wrong information. I didn’t collect garbage – I disposed of it.” And he blows the guy the fuck away. I wanted to stand up and applaud such a line of dialogue.
+ a good quip = applause
Second, this was shot and edited really well. Surprising, considering it’s B movie story. This might be because of the director Boaz Yakin, who previously worked on the incredible Fresh. I think he wanted to have some fun in doing a Statham fest, while also adding some fancy filmmaking techniques. Props to the opening 15 minutes; they did a great job of establishing the story’s two lead characters.
Unfortunately, for a flick with a director and a star willing to get their hands dirty, the action doesn’t get ridiculous enough. I mean, Statham beats people up, sure, and the gun battles are cool, but where are the rocket launchers? With a story like this, I want really cheesy dialogue and incredibly unnecessary violence. Give me Death Wish 3 and I’m happy.
Go big or go home.
Jason meets up with Alex, an ex member of his vague special ops team, to make an exchange for the girl. They chat for a bit, and end up squaring off for hand to hand combat.
See, in a scene just prior to this, it’s established that Alex – a character whose importance is not mentioned until around here – is as good or better than Jason is at fighting. So, this could very well be the greatest fight ever! Will Jason win this final pseudo cage without a cage fight? Will Jason lo…
The girl grabs a gun and knee caps Alex. Jason then grabs his gun, and blows the guys brains out (????).
This is classic Jason Statham. Sure, it doesn’t go as far as I would’ve liked, but it is what it is, and that’s ok.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever a gun is fired (might cause poisoning, so be careful).
Take a Drink: for each laugh out loud moment that did happen, and each laugh out loud moment that could’ve happened.
Do a Shot: if you imagine Charles Bronson in Jason’s spot.