15 certificate, 94 minutes
Director: Boaz Yakin
Stars: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan and Chris Sarandon
"She has the code. He is the key. "
Safe is mostly set in New York City; the initial bit before they hop back in time is in Brooklyn, and is based around Mei (Catherine Chan) and Luke Wright (Jason Statham, Killer Elite, The Expendables 2) and their attempts to beat the forces arrayed against them.
Mei is a 12 year old girl originally from Nanjing in China. A genius with exceptional memory and number skills, she was kidnapped by the Triads and brought to New York where she functions as a human computer, keeping track of their operations. One day, the Triad boss, who has now come to New York for this matter, asks her to memorise a long number and, whilst on the way to use it, her convoy is attacked by the Russian mob and she is kidnapped again. She escapes into the subway, where she comes across Luke Wright.
Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Safe2011Poster.jpgWright is a man with nothing left to lose, now considering killing himself. A former New York cop, he later became a cage fighter in New Jersey where he won a match he was supposed to lose and earned the enmity of the same Russian mobsters who are now after Mei, who then destroyed his life and everything in it. He sees Mei and, recognising the men after her, decides to intervene. Wright makes short work of them for he wasn't always a cop.
Mei and Wright end up being chased across New York City by Russian mobsters, Chinese gangsters and corrupt New York cops. The number Mei memorised was not just a random sequence, but was instead a code to a safe. The title of the film appears to refer partly to both this safe and to Mei's question "Are we safe?" and Wright's attempts to make the answer to that "Yes."
Right at the beginning of the film when they hop about a bit in the timeline it can be a bit confusing, especially if you don't concentrate on when each event is set - a matter not helped by the fact that part of that is in Nanjing, China as well as being spoken in Mandarin and thus subtitled. First it's roughly in the present, then a few hours earlier, then a year earlier, then a year later but still not up to the beginning or the events set a few hours before the beginning. This could have been handled better.
Safe is a typical Statham film; rather short on plot but long on violence, car chases and shooting. The plot is basically Luke Wright deciding to keep a little girl he has never met before safe from Chinese and Russian gangsters and corrupt cops; mostly achieved by killing them. If you want to watch a film with lots of people shooting at each other and Statham beating people up - in short, if you like Statham films - then this is a film for you. Just don't confuse it with something that actually has a plot. 3/5.
15 certificate, 94 minutes