Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Generic House

Look at that poster.  Isn't that pumped?  I mean, it's not on the grandeur of say, Star Wars or that Nicole Kidman poster from Batman Forever...yeah...that was great...she was in prime form for that...yeah...where was I?  Oh yeah, the poster.  So you have Denzel Washington looking relaxed.  Can you stand it?  Isn't it awesome?  If you say no, then I'm going to disappoint you because this is the only good thing in Safe House.  This poster.  At least Denzel is great.  The movie is not.

My problems with this movie are two-fold.  1 is the camerawork.  The other is the plot.  I will address them in order.

1: If I were thinking of a letter to describe the camerawork for the movie, I would give it an S.  S for Shakycam.  S for sucks.  S for shitty.  It's terrible.  The camera is never locked down.  Ever.  The camera floats around like a rubber ducky in a bathtub, when you've pulled the plug and its hit that swirl just before going down the drain.  Action scenes where you can't see who hit who.  Monologue scenes where I ended up with Denzel's right eye in the upper frame.  Quite frankly, I haven't seen many shakycam movies lately...well, I got my fill with this one.  It's shot "realistically"...meaning grainy and shaky.  Haywire was shot with realism and I didn't feel like I was on a rollercoaster.  I'm surprised it wasn't shot on video.  In any case, it blows with a capital S.

2: The plot.  Now, if you have never seen a thriller, especially an espionage thriller, than you may be enthralled with this movie.  That would pretty much be your only excuse for liking the plot.  The yahoos over on JoBlo gave this 7 out of 10.  Guess they proved how many of these movies they've seen.  Then again, the entire filmography those guys have seen are The Talented Mr. Ripley, Brazil and The Departed, so, don't worry, they're experts...if the meaning of expert has changed to IQ lower than shorts size.  I can't believe they gave this movie a seven.  It's that bad. 

To put in plainly, this is the most generic thriller I have ever seen.  I saw a character show up, I thought "this is the guy behind the whole thing."  I saw Denzel and I'm like "he's not really bad"  I saw Vera Farmiga and I thought "she's going to be the tough one, and you're going to think she's behind it all, but she's really not, and the real bad guy is going to take her out to a secluded area and kill her and we're supposed to be all shocked."  All of this literally happened, verbatim to how it happened.  Everything you think will happen, happened.  There is no surprises, no interesting plot developments, nothing to stand out.  This is Hollywood paint-by-the-numbers at its most obvious.  "Hey, I bet in this scene, Denzel gets away from Ryan Reynolds!"  "Hey, I bet they're going to team up in the next scene!"  "Hey, I bet in this scene, the bad guy becomes Mr. Exposition and reveals all!"  "Wow, the CIA is corrupt, who would have thought that?"  That was the entire movie.  It was literally, take a beginning screenplay course for 13 year-olds and it's this movie. 

I may come off like I'm pissed off at this movie.  I'm not.  It's too bland, too vanilla, too generic to be mad.  I just can't believe that JoBlo gave this movie 7 out of 10.  I can't believe Rotten Tomatoes rated this movie higher than a movie like Sucker Punch.  I can't.  It's too ludicrous.  Maybe they were excited that Ryan Reynolds got through a movie without one wisecrack?  I can't explain it, it's too unbelievable.  This movie has been done 1,000,000 times before.  If this was the first thriller ever made about spies and CIA agents, I could understand it.  That's not the case, though.  

So, do yourself a favour.  See any other thriller than this, unless you want a crash coarse on this particular genre.  For those who have a larger movie knowledge, let me just put it like this: Denzel couldn't even elevate it. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

- Stephenstein

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