Reason Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews Safe, the latest shoot-'em-up from Jason Statham, in today's Washington Times:
"Safe" offers yet another reminder that Jason Statham's brutal filmography has become a genre unto itself: the Jason Statham movie. At this point, the brawny star owns the entire lower-middle swath of the action movie marketplace.
Mr. Statham is — to borrow the credo of another gruff, one-dimensional comic book character, Wolverine — the best at what he does, but what he does isn't very nice.
No one makes a better blue-collar action flick, and these days almost no one else is trying. His movies aren't high art, and I hesitate to even call them creative entertainment. Instead they're mass-produced commodities designed to satiate viewers with yet another kicky, violent fix.
Still, they work. Yes, Mr. Statham's movies pander to their viewers. But they also respect them, serving up only the bare essentials with minimal filler: no fuss, no excess chit-chat, just quips and kicks. With its clinical, efficient brutality, its serrated cynicism and its pat cruelty, "Safe" fits the bill better than most. It's the purest Statham fix in years.