Tobin Frost (Oscar winner Denzel Washington), one of the CIA’s most dangerous traitors, resurfaces in South Africa after eluding capture for almost a decade. During his interrogation, the safe house he’s being held in is attacked by brutal mercenaries forcing rookie agent, Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) to take the infamous Frost on the run. As the masterful manipulator toys with his reluctant protégé, shaking the young operative’s morality and idealism, the unlikely allies must fight to stay alive long enough to uncover who wants them both dead. Packed with intense action and thrilling suspense, Safe House takes you on a deadly ride through a covert world where no one and no place is ever safe.
The first hint that Safe House
will be a notch above the typical thriller comes from the list of supporting actors: Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Shepard, Rubén Blades--that's a smart cast. Then the movie starts quietly: Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) holding his girlfriend's hand, Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) having a drink with an old friend… then that friend gives Frost a microchip and Safe House
takes off, accelerating with every scene as legendary rogue agent Frost ends up in the hands of newbie Weston, who's just supposed to watch the safe house where prisoners are held for interrogation. But now Weston is racing across Cape Town and Johannesburg, pursued by ruthless killers, his loyalties tested and manipulated by the infinitely charming Frost. Director Daniel Espinosa skillfully orchestrates jolting action sequences and distills quieter scenes down to their mesmerizing essence. Washington and Reynolds both give their characters emotional complexity and a sense of actual thought going on behind their charismatic movie-star eyes. The plot has its clichés (legendary rogue agent, crucial microchip, CIA corruption and whatnot), but this cast and director make Safe House
a genuinely gripping thriller. --Bret Fetzer