That brings us to Luke Wright (Jason Statham), a former cop and current cage fighter. He is a man with some issues, but when he sees Mei and the bad guys after her, he puts them aside to help her. We meet him at a very dire time in his life and in her he finds a reason to live. He takes her under his wing and fights to protect her from the Chinese, the Russians, and even corrupt cops. When it comes to bad guys, Safe has a little bit of everything.
Beyond that, there really is not much to Safe. There is nothing new or particularly fresh, which forces the questions — why does it work and why do I like it?
The answer, like the movie, is simple. Safe is fun. As stated, it reminds me of those old school action movies from the 1980s and the film's star is also reminiscent of those hard-nosed stars of the past. There's a reason he is included among the legends in The Expendables.
Safe is a movie on rails, a throwback that doesn't act like a throwback. We get car chases, fist fights, and shootouts. We have a bad ass lead who is always ready with a punch or a quip. We have desperate bad guys willing to throw all of their foot soldiers into the mix. There really isn't anything not to like about it.
This is not to say it is a perfect or even great movie. Written and directed by Boaz Yakin, the movie is nicely paced and is just an entertainment and nothing more. It almost feels like Yakin was looking to his past when making this one, his first credit is for writing the Dolph Lundgren version of The Punisher.
This is not a movie that will win any awards, hell, I may be one of the few to legitimately like it. It helps that Jason Statham is actually a pretty good actor (see The Bank Job, for example). He brings a solid combination of relatable screen presence and action star prowess. He brings emotion to the role, a certain sadness, and it is this element that helps elevate the material. Watch his interaction with Mei, she gives him reason and that is something he desperately needs. It is this element that gives the action movie that extra little bit of depth.