SAFE HOUSE—–Denzel Washington and Cape Town—how can you go wrong? One way would be to add director Daniel Espinosa’s jerky handling of a massively contrived script that within the first ten minutes shows editing so jumpy and action so absurd that you have only the snarling star and sunny scenery to fend anything but fast and furious boredom.
Washington bounces between superlative pieces that display his acting prowess and slick junkers that coast on his charisma (he followed this 2012 memory eraser with Flight, one of his tip-top best). Credit him for nerve: he was actually water-boarded (briefly) for his interrogation scenes here.
As for Cape Town, one of the planet’s most stunning settings and a sexy choice for a great time, walk down the wrong street, a block from the fun and you can get murdered faster than you can say Rio de Janeiro. Cost to make: $85,000,000. Loot: $208,100,000.
A waste of Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Ruben Blades, Robert Patrick, Liam Cunningham, Joel Kinnaman and Nora Arnezeder. 115 minutes you will need later.