Peter Bradshaw 

Safe House – review

This IQ level of this violent, sub-Tony Scott action thriller starring Denzel Washington is depressingly low, writes Peter Bradshaw
  
  

A big, dumb, boring beefcake of a film, a violent sub-Tony Scott action thriller, always on the point of running out of narrative steam. Denzel Washington produces and stars as Tobin Frost, a legendary, enigmatic CIA agent who supposedly "went rogue" ages ago, selling secrets to all and sundry; now, threatened by the various enemies he has amassed, Frost gives himself up at the US embassy in Cape Town and is assigned to a "safe house" under the care of twitchy rookie Matt Weston, played by Ryan Reynolds. Is Tobin going to escape? Or try to "get inside Matt's head" – and somehow outsmart Matt and get his guard down? Well, however much we are led to expect these cerebral thrills, the IQ-level remains crassly low. No dialogue scene can extend for more than about 30 seconds before director Daniel Espinosa insists on pepping things up with an almighty bang, a shower of glass and a fistfight. In fact, there are so many muscly, gun-toting guys having bloody brawls, it looks like some online research has been carried out to see what niche audience might appreciate this film most.