Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Safe House

There are a few terrific chase sequences in the spy-world thriller "Safe House," especially the first one, a giddy and vertiginous (and totally preposterous) thrill ride through the streets of Johannesburg. There are also a lot of fights: gunfights, knife fights, fistfights. Eh. But what puffs the movie up to two hours are a bunch of long, slow, talky scenes that go nowhere exciting. Ryan Reynolds looks sexy as shit, but lacks the movie-star quality - the heft - of, say, a Matt Damon. Denzel Washington is quietly likable here, but the movie's not as much fun as his recent "Unstoppable." Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard and Vera Farmiga lend solid support as Reynolds' CIA bosses, but the picture plays out predictably and at great length.

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