I should be writing this paper for school but I have to blog today. I was going back and forth as whether or not this film is worthy of a review but since I visited the nostalgic Palazzo 16(used to clean the bathrooms there in 06) might as well say a few things.
2 main thoughts: getting tired of Denzel and its not Bourne, so why bother? First, Denzel Washington has had a fantastic versatile career; but, not really? Hate to really shred an Academy Award winner but I am not gonna shred. Denzel has always been one of my favorites. I have seen a lot of his films and some of which are hard to see because of bad content. Book Of Eli to me was his last really good one but the old universalism in the end kind of made me not like it. I saw Unstoppable on my b-day with Zack in 2010. Turning 25 with Chris Pine and Denzel. Always been a fan of fast-camera moving Tony Scott and Mark Bomback as a screen-writer(Die Hard 4, Race To Witch Mountain) but Safehouse was ultra cliche and more of a replicate role then a new character. Denzel since Man On Fire and Deja Vu really has not changed at all. He is always smooth talking with one liners and delivering in that rye tone of sound that makes you believe he is more complex then what he is reading on paper. His complexity is what is compelling but only for so long.
Second thought, The Bourne trilogy can’t be the ultimate example of action films. Obviously, plenty of great action movies have had similar Bourne-eque characteristics. Die Hard came way before and took the ordinary man meets Terminator approach. Man verse the system in James Bond has also existed for decades. But what Bourne does do well in Ludlum’s writing is redefine human and redefine CIA.
Bourne humanizes what is the extension of machine like verse human tenderness. Jason Bourne is not just an amnesia victim he is a man afflicted by the corruption of the system. Between all three films you realize how much of a normal guy he is trying to be and how fallen the CIA really is. It hits that vein of injustice inside of you. It takes the over zealous 9-11 terrorist message into account and how far would we really go, as a country, to protect our own? And in this case, Bourne and the Treadstone project represent that license to kill. Bourne then is victim to compromise but in the process of this trilogy you are for Bourne getting answers not just sweet action shots. So many times action is devoid of characterization. Its movies like SWAT where everything just blows up and you don’t really care about the plot. In all the Die Hard films you sort of care about McClaine but not to much.
Safehouse in a nutshell was great action in a foreign land. Set in South Africa and an attempt to resurrect Ryan Reynolds from that horrid experience of Green Lantern, you get it that he is trying to prove himself to us again. Ryan is okay at his role in this film. He is an okay actor but the plot is overly drab and way to predictable. How many times do we have an inside guy like Tobin Frost(Denzel) get corrupted over money and expose the system he once worked for? Like Bourne but without me really caring to much. Like all the action films with no real substance in the plot line. Eagle Eye and even John Cena in 12 Rounds was more enjoyable.
Trying to capitalize on the title explanation. Essentially, no one is safe because no one can be trusted like Brian Cox in Bourne but really, it doesnt’ develop deep enough for you to get the notion that Tobin Frost can’t be trusted. Sorry guys!
I am not gonna even do an overview because this movie wasn’t worth breaking down scene by scene. The Vow was more interesting to me. This film had potential but didn’t do much for me. How many times is this going to happen? Probably a lot, which is why Mission Impossible 4 has been the best of this genre in years and why Bourne Legacy will continue to shred all the action films to pieces. And if you are going to cast Denzel maybe ask him to play a different character then what we have been getting for the past five years.