Safe House ends up being predictable and a waste of talent

Safe House proves a theory that I have–it does not matter how fine an actor you may have (and there are a few in this film) a movie can sink without a strong script. We have seen it before–Troy, Public Enemies and it is the truth when it comes to this film.  It has great performances–okay fight sequences–an interesting premise–and yet, none of it adds up to much because it’s all too familiar and fails to impress.  Actually, you forget about it as soon as the credits roll. 

The screenplay is the backbone of any feature, which is why I follow screenwriters as much as I do actors and directors.  Christopher Nolan? I’m there.  Aaron Sorkin? Done.  Brit Marling? I’m game.  Newcomer David Guggenheim almost had something here…almost. Unfortunately, he falls victim to predictability.  Okay, for the masses this may work and Safe House has performed decently in the box office. But for those of us with pickier taste, it is too easy–too familiar.  Guggenheim follows the “formula” too closely and there are NO surprises.  At one point I thought “That can’t be right? That’s too simple and glaringly apparent!”  But, nope it was that simple.  Deep sigh. 

It is a sad waste of a great cast.  Denzel Washington does the best he can with what he has, but again…not much there.  Ryan Reynolds is underrated and quite good (check out Buried and The Nines if you doubt it) and has nothing to do here.  Brendan Gleeson, who is one of my favorite character actors (The Guard is brilliant!), is poorly used.  Vera Farmiga, who I think is one of our strongest female leads, is given nothing.  You can see the theme running through this–nothing–wasted–yeah…it is sad.

This is Swedish director Daniel Espinosa first American film and with the box office numbers I am sure he will get another chance to direct in the US.  I have not seen his first film Easy Money, but have heard good things.  Espinosa does a fine job with what he has to work with.  He can create tension and has a good eye for details, but again–that is all wasted.  🙂

So, bottom line? You can go watch Safe House and you will more than likely be engaged for almost 2 hours, but that’s about it.  Yeah. You know what I am going to say…it’s a waste. 

About nediunedited

Who is nediunedited? A lover of cinema since the age of seven! All kinds–all genres. Films (TV and Books, too) have shaped my life–they were my escape, my inspiration and even my first role models. I do not rate my films in the traditional sense (no stars, grades, etc.)–instead I give you my opinion and my take on it–I do not give traditional plot summaries either, because I want you to go in clear–ready for your own experience. There is nothing better than discovering a fine film, without any other influence. (Personally, when I want to really see something I practice media shut out–I refuse to watch too many trailers, viral promos, reviews, etc–I have been known to cover my eyes and ears in the theater during trailers–LALALALA!) That’s me–hope you come by and visit! I will definitely make the rounds and find some of you out there, too.

6 thoughts on “Safe House ends up being predictable and a waste of talent

  1. Pingback: #18 – Safe House | Movie Blog

  2. I actually can’t stand Denzel Washington but I agree with your sentiment that the rest of the cast is stellar…and so wasted. I never would have seen it just because of the lead but you make an excellent point about story and screenwriters. While I think the predictable can be fine if expectations are managed I think it’s much better to not phone in the script but try to write a work you can stand behind and not just collect a paycheck from. Cheers 🙂

    • It is frustrating to see all the play by the numbers stuff we get–that is why it is so refreshing when you stumble upon a creative idea! 🙂

      Oh by the way–I selected you for a Liebster Blog award! I love your site and wanted to share with others! ;D

  3. Agree with you wholeheartedly… I really could have skipped it and re-watched “The Bourne Identity” for a better film experience.

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