Thursday, 30 May 2013

Safe House 2012 5*

Preview promises explosions, chases, shots, fights, surprises, tension from music track. Ryan Reynolds seems light weight, here's his chance to show me more. I would have cut the slow start, him as Matt Weston bored supervising a safe house in South Africa, to later, and begun with the shockers. Or not, because the rest paces fast, interspersed with tense guns and knives. Bottom left corner of screen shows times, Friday on, and these guys don't sleep.

Denzel Washington has the kind of deep voice that rumbles my insides, even if his beard has grey sprinkles. But ouch, can he twist a neck. How is that cinematic trick effected? Y-ouch. Brain bullet for Alec Wade MI6 (Liam Cunningham - TV Outcasts President Tate, award for 7' short Pitch Black Heist) and car crash in Cape Town, South Africa. I like how, as Tobin Frost, he looks back at his pursuers, led by bearded Vargas (Fares Fares). I hope he's marked them for trouble, but maybe the attention is for our benefit, to put a face on evil.

Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard ) supervises David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson), Weston's mentor, Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga xx ), and the team at CIA USA Langley HQ. Throughout, Frost is referred to as a "legend", yet here he is said to be a rogue seller of intel. Wanted for espionage on four continents, Frost has been off the grid ten years, and now walks into an American consulate. Of course he gets taken to Matt's safe house.

Matt flees with Frost after Vargas leads an attack. Vargas receives message "No file, no payment." Film location choice becomes clear, when chase follows through Futbol (soccer) World Cup Game, instantly recognizable by those nasty annoying horns, city streets and freeways. Frost warns Weston their job secrets will force the junior agent to leave his girl Ana (Nora Arnezeder), Weston retorts "I'm not you", and predicts head office response word for word "You've done a fine job son, we'll take it from here" as "you're screwed".

Aside: Vera Farmiga says "We women have the shelf life of seafood, and ... guys have the shelf life of Twinkies. When the work presents itself, you have got to take it,"



Carlos Villar (Ruben Blades)), a Nicaraguan forger in the Langa Township suburb, welcomes Frost as an old friend. "People don't change. We grow old. And some of us adapt and learn to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. .. You've got more past than future, you learn." Vargas team shows before Weston, takes out Villar and wife, so we know CIA has mole, fed intel. More guns blaze, motor and foot chases. Matt beats on opponent "Who is Vargas?", for answer "CIA".

Frost has advice. "Don't kill innocent people." "Everyone betrays everyone." Weston realizes they are on the same side, but still promises "I'll take you in." "Good for you." Two shots on a quiet country road, and we see the CIA traitor. Flys buzz. Next fight, at a rural safe house, glass smashes, groans, grunts, screams, ouch, can't look.

Barlow rouses the bleeding Weston. When Barlow blames deaths on Frost, Weston knows Barlow is guilty, and does not accept Barlow's justification "You would do what you had to do". Suddenly, Barlow's bullet takes Frost down. "Be better than me. You promise me." He passes the file on corrupt agents to Weston, and takes a long time to die. Youch.

Weston goes from fatally injured to walking -- unreal. Whitford promises the recuperated Weston promotion, but notes problems in Weston's report. "Parts of this are going to have to be altered for national security .. People don't want the truth .. messy .. keeps 'em up nights." Something is missing - the file that would give the holder "enemies in every intelligence agency in the world."

Nice echo when Weston says "I'll take it from here, sir." TV broadcasts then show the file was leaked, taking down high officials worldwide, including Whitford. At a Paris cafe (They really did film in Paris, lucky ducks), Weston watches Ana. She sees him, smiles, but he ducks away, proving Frost right again. ----------


Quotes from bigwigs and cast alternate with film in front and behind scenes, and script page paragraphs

1 Making Daniel Espinoza, first-time Hollywood director - looking for "archetypical journey", old warrior knows world is corrupt, young romantic gunslinger David Guggenheim, screenwriter - wanted film start at safe house, pair green idealist housekeeper and veteran cynic, Hollywood "Black List" are best unproduced screenplays of year Ryan Reynolds - all about bond, action film deeply rooted in character rewarding Denzel Washington - innocence and idealism, preps six months, always in character on set, really did waterboard torture scene Scott Stuber, producer "Can this kid go all the way through this, become a man, and keep who he is as a human being?" "The quality of actors that we have, you will feel what these people are feeling." Yup. Vera Farmiga "The world can't be reduced to good guys and bad guys"

2 Hand-to-hand action see padding, slow movements choreograped, rehearsed before set, brutal Schneider coordinator - add emotion, everything could be dangerous, anticipate, each fight tells a story - not just a fight Ryan - raw, primal, forced Fares - one fight 3 months, "hurts a lot", bruised ribs, strained muscles, rural housekeeper Keller (Joel Kinnaman) - nitty gritty, fight for survival

3 Rooftop Chase built own labyrinth, football field, in front of real Township to see reality in background, reinforced roofs, except two supposed to fall production designer, stunt coordinator, tactical advisor

4 Inside CIA Farmiga: Who doesn't dream of being a spy? advisor Luis Falcon was real safe housekeeper 40 years undercover, retired replicated detail of real hospital real one only in operation one year max Ryan - he taught me how to lie

Previews Big Miracle, American Reunion, Suits DVD, Transformers: The Ride at amusement Parks

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