Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds are two of the most popular stars in the business, each boasting a strong track record at the box office when it comes to the action genre. Take the pair of them, throw them together in a classic two-hander burdened with a blockbuster budget, and the results are… perfectly acceptable.
Safe House had two A-list megastars facing off in a high concept tale of subterfuge, espionage and double-crosses, but it always felt as though the movie was lacking that one spark that could ignite it into life and elevate things above mediocrity. It’s a decent enough effort, but it could have been so much more.
$208 million at the box office and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 52% is about as average as it gets for an $85 million studio effort, and it’s no coincidence that the narrative sags noticeably when Washington and Reynolds aren’t stuck together, trading barbs and bickering while on the run from the shady forces looking to take them both out.
The characters are archetypal and the plot painfully predictable, but there are definitely many worse ways to whittle away a couple of hours than watching Safe House. Netflix subscribers clearly agree, too, as the South Africa-set spy story is currently the most popular title on the platform in the United States, according to FlixPatrol.