Safe House is a movie about a young CIA agent, Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), who is assigned to a CIA safe house in Cape Town, South Africa. Matt Weston finds himself bored most days watching over his safe house and longs for the chance to be in the field as an agent. His only excitement is the love he has developed for a young French nurse, Ana Moreau (Nora Arnezeder). One day, Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) a former CIA agent, makes his way into a U.S. Embassy in Cape Town while trying to escape would be assassins as they try to prevent his escape with highly sensitive documents. The documents that Frost carried on him could incriminate major heads of clandestine agencies all over the world. Frost is taken into custody and is taken to the safe house run by Weston. A team is sent in to interrogate Frost that is headed by Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick). The safe house comes under attack and the team is killed but Weston is able to escape with Frost. The movie continues as Weston tries to get Frost to a new safe house and even has to prevent Frost’s escape.
This movie was very slow to start. The plot was solid and the cast was amazing but the follow through was a disappointment. When the movie was slow it was really slow and when it was exciting it was exciting, but it was slow more often than not. Moments of exhilaration were quickly followed with a lot of talking and more of the movie grinding to a near halt. It isn’t revealed until very late in the movie why Frost has these files and who exactly is after him. Too much effort seemed to be placed on the secrecy in the plot to the point that it chocked out any possibility of providing a fast paced thrill ride one might come to expect with this genre of film. The acting for its part was fantastic and Ryan Reynolds shocked me as he did not bring his usual brand of comedy to the film. This part was a bit of a different role for him and he pulled it off fantastically. The romance between Moreau and Weston doesn’t really do much but slow down the movie. There is no, man saves girl, scenario in the movie. She really does nothing more than bring a moral dilemma to the story. Weston is forced to choose between telling her about his job, that up to this point he has lied about, or just vanish from her life.
I really found the movie disappointing and saw an opportunity to do so much more with its characters and storyline. It was hard to stay engaged in the movie and often times I found myself asking when it would end. I wouldn’t recommend seeing this movie at the movie theater but if it shows up on cable and you have nothing better to watch it might be worth seeing.