- Release Date:May 10, 2012
- Running time:94 minutes
- Film Worth:$12.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
It grows increasingly absurd, but the surprisingly complex and original narrative propels this above-generic action fare.
There are two main characters here, both of them formidable in their very different ways. Luke Wright (Jason Statham - The Transporter, The Expendables) is a former elite agent turned prizefighter, with an uncanny knack both for dispatching enemies and for making new ones. Mei (Catherine Chan) is a Chinese girl with a genius-level ability to make calculations and to remember incredibly long lists of numbers. Mei is kidnapped in China and sent to New York, where her mental faculties are exploited by a Triad-like organisation with a preference for the avoidance of computers and paper trails. Their paths cross when Mei saves Luke's life, in a figurative sort of way, and he dedicates himself to repaying the favour.
What follows is nothing if not labyrinthine, and the surprisingly complex plot is the saving grace of what would otherwise be - and does soon descend into - a generic shoot-'em-up. Luke and Mei find themselves pitted against the combined and (more often) competing depredations of corrupt cops, the Russian mafia and the aforementioned Chinese gang. The level of absurdity ramps up steadily in direct proportion to the body count and the gunfire gets boring, but there are exotically photogenic locales, from Chinatown to plush hotels, and amusing conversational snippets along the way. ("You got some balls, Luke." "Yeah, amazing I can even walk.")
Safe is corny, and indifferently acted at best. But, in its own rather tacky terms, it's quite fun. The overall pattern is trite, and the plot gets sillier and sillier, but some of its details are surprisingly original. A guilty and gritty pleasure.