Ryan Reynolds plays a low-level CIA agent who babysits a safe house all by his lonesome.  No, it’s not the house that Katie Holmes used as she made plans to get away from the “Top Gun” actor with the overly big, front teeth.  A safe house is a temporary place that you can hole up in as you wait for the heat to die down so you can make your final getaway.  Huh.  Maybe it can be referred to Holmes’ situation.  But in this movie, it’s a series of places that Denzel Washington — a rogue, former agent of the U.S. — is sent to before the CIA can take full custody of him in the U.S.  “Safe House” should be called “Unsafe House” because the bad guys seem to know where he is most of the time.  What!  You think someone in the CIA is feeding the meanies information as to the whereabouts of Washington?  How the hell did you know!

Washington is like a black, Jason Bourne with a scary smile.  He has information on the dirty dealings of spy organizations such as the CIA (no way, those guys are heroes, they can never do bad things to anyone!), the British MI-6 (no, that’s not the new BMW car), the Mossad (no, that’s not an Indian dish), etc.  So naturally, he’s a hunted man, and they nab him.  Reynolds gets caught up in all this nonsense and he slowly realizes that the bad guys were sent by the same organization he works for.   D’oh! He should have read the fine print in his contract before signing up with the CIA.  I have a copy, and it states, “we have the right to f@#k you up whenever we feel like it.”

Did I like the movie?  Yes I did.  Just not that much.   How much?  That much.   “Safe House” is well-directed, moves fast, has lots of action, intense hand to hand fighting scenes, good acting, and it didn’t cost me anything to watch (thanks, library!).

On to the most memorable movie moment.  The sequence when the first safe house is compromised.  It has the feel of a horror movie.   Alarms go off, lights start flickering as the bad guys mess with the safe house’s power supply, rooms go dark, the nervous, CIA escorts of Washington take positions and wait for the numerous thugs to come to their floor…It’s an intense, high body count moment.

Another memorable part of “Safe House” is how cool Washington is when he’s being tortured, or when the bad guys are shooting their way in and he’s tied to a chair and can’t defend himself.  He doesn’t look worried.  He doesn’t even flinch.   I would’ve flinched.  Then peed my Hanes.  Then squirted out some feces.  Then cried as tears and snot mix to drip down my chin.  Okay, I’m not that soft.  When I was arrested and put in a holding cell, I didn’t beg or plead or cry.  I put on my game face and kept it as I was processed.  Then again, a dozen thugs with automatic weapons weren’t trying to kill me.

M

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