Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, Sam Shepard
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Rating: 3.5/5

There has been a distressing lack of Denzel Washington on the big screen of late, his last role being Unstoppable back in November 2012.

However breathe easy Washington fans as the Oscar winner is back with his new action movie Safe House, which sees him team up with Ryan Reynolds.

For the past year, Matt Weston has been frustrated by his inactive, backwater post in Cape Town. A "housekeeper" who aspires to be a full-fledged agent, the loyal company man has been waiting for an opportunity to prove himself.

When the first and only occupant he's had proves to be the most dangerous man he's ever met, Weston readies for duty.

Tobin Frost has eluded capture for almost a decade. One of the best ops men that the CIA's known, the ex-intelligence officer has given up assets and sold military intel to anyone with cash since he turned.

Barely escaping when the safe house is attacked and the extraction team killed, the unlikely partners must discover if their attackers have been sent by terrorists or someone on the inside who will kill anyone standing in the way. Now it's up to Weston to figure out who he can trust before they're both eliminated from the game.

The political thriller has produced some great movies and franchises in recent years and Safe House is a great addition to that genre.

It's fast paced and action packed movie that has excitement and intrigue at every turn.

There is a genuine chemistry between Reynolds and Washington; there is tension and a feel of comradeship between the pair.

The power between the two switches back and forth and you never really know what Frost's game is and whether he will put a bullet in Weston at any minute.

But the pair are perfect opposites of each other as Weston's idealism does battle with Frost's cynicism, which comes after years of service and a betrayal.

There is almost a mentorship between the two as the movie progresses as Frost is desperate for Weston not to make the same mistakes as he has - which works really nicely.

It's a shame that Brendan Gleeson & Vera Farmiga are not used a little more. But either of them could be the mole that blew the location of the safe house so they are quite intriguing characters themselves - would have been nice to see them fleshed out a little more.

But it's the action scenes that really work well as there are some great action sequences - Frost running over the roofs of a shanty town is also a great set piece.

Ok so this is a familiar plot where we can all predict the outcome - not to mention that director Daniel Espinosa does get a little bogged down in the story about half way through.

Having said that this is an exciting ride with some fascinating characters, the movie also looks great.

In all Safe House is an action packed ride with some great central performances from Washington & Reynolds - you are just left wondering what kind of movie this would have been in more experienced hands that Espinosa.

Safe House is out now

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw


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