Sunday, October 28, 2012

Safe House & the American

It worked out that I had a free evening last night. [1]  I decided to squander away my time watching movies.  I'd recently gotten a copy of The American and after a brief run to the used CD/DVD store I decided to pair it up with Safe House.

I pretty knew the gist of what Safe House was about [2] and thought that the American was similar. Which given the cover the American seemed a safe bet.  [3]

I began the double feature with Safe House.

Safe House: Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds "team up" in this one.  Denzel Washington takes a rare turn at playing a bad guy. [4]  To be honest I'd forgotten it was Ryan Reynolds in this one and if I had paid more attention at the store would probably have thought twice about buying it had I remembered.  It's not that I don't like the guy, it's more that I don't like the guy.

To be clearer. I haven't actually seen a ton of movie with Reynolds, but I've developed the impression that he's a bit of a goof ball and I expect more of a frat boy performance out of him than that of a soldier/spy.  This is probably in a large part because of Van Wilder and the Green Lantern movie, neither of which I saw. [5]

Safe House has definitely improved things.  He was completely believable and did a great job.  Granted it was an action flick and didn't really call for too much depth of acting, but nevertheless I enjoyed his performance and the movie in general.

If I have any real bone to pick with the movie it's that it fails in the same way that every movie of this ilk seems to fail. [6]  Which is that the "surprise" bad guy in the movie was about as much of a surprise as plain white toast. [7]  Anyone who didn't know that he was a bad guy the first or second time he was on the screen probably screams in terror every time the toaster pops-up.

The American: So if you've seen this movie and you read my assumptions above you have already realize what I'm about to say in the next sentence.  This movie was not at all what I was expecting.  It did have some violence and a sort of a car chase [8] and guns, but it is not an action movie.

Instead it's a movie about a guy whose life is sad, lonely and boring.  He then comes to realize how sad, lonely and boring his life is.  He decides to stop living a sad, lonely and boring life.  This naturally results in the ending that movies of this formula always end with. [9]  Thus, my biggest problem with this movie is that the "surprise" at the end was no surprise at all.

A minor problem could be the slow pacing and lack of action, but then again that is probably more a factor of what I was expecting versus what I actually got. [10]

Safe House: B+
The American: B+

[1] - Meaning the Pook took the boys to a Halloween party and I was free to do as I like.
[2] - Guns, violence, explosions, car chases, etc, etc.
[3] - George Clooney running with a gun.
[4] - Sort of.
[5] - Looking at his IMDB listing doesn't really change that opinion either.
[6] - So it's more of a bone to pick with these movies in general.
[7] - Just to be clear, by that I mean none-at-all.
[8] - Motor scooters count, right?
[9] - And of course, somewhere along the way he falls in love with a prostitute.
[10] - So more of a problem with me than the movie.

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