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DVD Review: Safe

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For those of you out there who like your action exciting and just a little bit British, congratulations; you’re about to get exactly what you’re after with “Safe,” a copy of which our friends out at Lions Gate sent over for us to review.

“Safe” introduces us to Mei, a little Chinese girl with a very big secret. She’s a math prodigy. But the fact that this little girl can do more math than a lot of people have even heard of isn’t the big secret; the big secret is that she’s carrying around a particular set of numbers. Numbers that open a safe stuffed to the merry old brim with loot.

Now, a Triad boss and the Russian Mafia are out to get Mei, but protecting little Mei is none other than Jason Statham, this time portrayed as Luke, a former detective in the Big Apple turned cage fighter. Who will end up with Mei? Will any of them get the safe’s contents? Or will Mei get away and leave a very big safe very locked?

The first half hour or so of “Safe” will be a downer so massive that you’d think you were watching a whole new version of “The Road” or something as opposed to a Jason Statham movie. But then, after that really miserable half hour, things will get very heavy very fast, with some great action sequences and the kind of cool venom that you expect from Jason Statham. It’s like, for a while, we started seeing a completely different movie, but around the half hour mark, someone wakes up, puts the right footage in play, and we start seeing the movie we were supposed to be seeing all along.

Even better, the last half hour will feature a casino heist almost as complex as that of “Ocean’s Eleven,” though not near as comic, but much more violent instead. The twists involved in that last half hour are incredibly complex and delightful, and make this a much more satisfying experience overall than your standard action film would prove to be under normal circumstances. Some have actually called this Statham’s best work, and I’m inclined to agree. The man is a major part of a movie that’s extremely well-crafted, and though the ending is a little less certain than one might like–the smell of potential sequel is all over it–it’s still solid enough to make the whole thing a satisfying performance.

Couple a major action star like Statham on to a well-done script like that powering “Safe,” and the end result is an amply watchable piece of work that’s well worth getting your hands on.

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