Ryan Reynolds is one of the most popular actors on the planet, while Denzel Washington is one of the most respected and acclaimed talents to ever grace the silver screen, and both stars have an impressive track record of box office success. Throw them together in an old fashioned two-hander that doubles as a high concept action thriller, and a big hit with audiences is almost guaranteed.
Almost being the operative word, because Safe House was a solid if unspectacular movie that did decent business when it was released in 2012, but faded quickly from memory in no time at all. The glossy and stylish South Africa-set blockbuster hailed from Daniel Espinosa, who was making his Hollywood debut after being put on the map with Swedish heist flick Snabba Cash, which doubled as leading man Joel Kinnaman’s breakthrough role.
The $85 million Safe House arrived in February 2012 and eventually went on to earn $208 million globally, which is a standard number for a Denzel Washington action thriller. However, the movie never quite lives up to the sum of its impressive parts, despite both leads bringing the expected combination of gravitas and charisma to their roles as a CIA handler way out of his depth and an alleged traitor being held in custody.
The plot is about as predictable and formulaic as it gets, but the material is elevated by sheer star power alone. Safe House is hardly a classic, but it makes for ideal late night entertainment thanks to some thrilling scenes that result in a harmless and enjoyable watch. Netflix users seem to agree, too, as the movie is proving to be hugely popular today having already cracked the streaming service’s Top 10 list, where it currently ranks as the fifth most-watched title in the library around the world.