Sunday, June 24, 2012

Safe House: gripping!

the Poster:

the Trailer:

the Plot:

a legend to all CIA operatives

Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington), an ex-CIA agent turned international criminal, acquires a file from renegade MI6 agent Alec Wade (Liam Cunningham). Attacked by the mercenary Vargas (Fares Fares), Alex got fatally shot whilst Frost escaped to an American consulate and is moved to a CIA safe house in Cape Town, South Africa.

The "housekeeper" of the safe house is Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), a low-level agent. He watches Frost's interrogation and waterboarding by Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick).

Weston was left alone with Frost, as the shooting warfare ensued

Weston is reminded of his duty to protect the Safe House's guest

When Vargas and his men attack the house, Kiefer and his team were executed, and Weston escapes with Frost captive.

Weston contacts his mentor, David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson), at CIA headquarters for guidance. Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga), another CIA operative, intercepts the call and orders Weston to lay low and call back later.

Linklater and Whitford assessing the situation

Weston hides with Frost and calls his girlfriend Ana Moreau (Nora Arnezeder), telling her to leave the house. Linklater later tells Weston to go to Cape Town Stadium to retrieve a GPS device with the location of a nearby safe house.

Frost is incredulous with Weston's decision to cuff him at the stadium

Weston retrieves the GPS at the stadium, but Frost creates a diversion and escapes by disguising himself as a policeman.

Weston, detained by the police, later escapes and confronts Frost only to have the latter escapes after causing injury to him.

Weston went after Frost

the experienced Frost wins over Weston

Weston is ordered to visit the nearest American embassy for debriefing by the CIA Deputy Director, Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard). Instead he meets with Ana, where he reveals that he is a CIA agent and sends her away for her safety to Paris. Ana is reluctant to leave but Weston beseeches her to do so.

Ana is incensed for being lied to and then requested to leave Weston

He then locates the house of Frost's contact, Carlos Villar (Rubén Blades), where Frost is attacked by Vargas and his team, but escapes with Weston's help. They learn that Vargas is actually working for the CIA, which is seeking to retrieve the files Frost received from Wade. It is revealed that the files contain detailed information of corrupt activities by many intelligence agencies, including the CIA itself, and that Weston's own superiors may be implicated.

over injuries, Frost confided that being CIA operatives isn't that much fun.


Keller was caustic in his admiration of Weston's posting at the Cape Town city

Frost is taken to the new safe house by Weston, where Weston is attacked by the housekeeper, Keller (Joel Kinnaman) who got the signal through his phone. After much struggle, Weston kills Keller but is badly wounded in their fight.

Frost leaves Weston who then passes out from the wounds sustained in the fight with Keller.

Meanwhile, Linklater has arrived in South Africa with Barlow to discover who leaked the location of the first safe house, but is shot and killed by Barlow, who goes to the safe house and reveals that he is Vargas' employer.

Linklater confided that the ensuing cat and mouse chase is for a microchip holding secrets. Barlow promptly shot her
Barlow confirms that the file contains incriminating evidence against him, and encourages Weston to lie about what has happened. Frost returns to rescue Weston by killing Vargas and his men but is shot by Barlow.

Weston, outraged, then shoots Barlow in the chest, killing him. Frost gives Weston the file and tells him he is better than Frost before he dies from his injuries.

Back in the U.S., Weston meets with Whitford, who informs Weston that unflattering facts about the CIA must be removed from his report, and he will be promoted as a senior case officer. He asks Weston about the file's location but Weston denies having been told about it by Frost. Whitford states that whoever has those files will have many enemies. Weston leaves, then leaks the files to the Internet, incriminating personnel from many intelligence agencies, including Whitford.

Later on, Weston sees Ana across a street in Paris, France. She reads a note passed to her from him, looks up at Weston, and they both make eye contact. She slowly smiles.

the Review:
one word to describe the movie: GRIPPING. i often watched movie concurrently with other tasks, playing computer  games mostly. but for this movie, i was forced to abandoned the side activities after 5 minutes or so of the movie.

RR played his role convincingly. his warring emotions and battling conscience were in constant havoc and chaos as he determined the next step to take. and he was attentive, making us believe that Frost is not so hard to find.

and that brings me to the holes in the story. it was a miracle that Weston could easily pinpoint Frost at Carlos' house. and during the escape earlier at the stadium full of people. it was so easy for Weston to spot Frost. i bet he is full of luck indeed.

and talking about luck, i wonder why the mercenaries didn't pick Ana up as collateral as her connection to Weston is all too apparent to Barlow and Whitford. they could arrange for her to be ransomed for Frost. but nope, she escaped clean as a whistle to Paris.

it was also stated that by having and leaking the information on the rogue secret agents of multiple nations, Weston shall have enemies from front, back, left and right. yet, he can easily go to Paris to meet Ana, without having to disguise himself. which brought the incredulity factor in my mind, don't the bad guys have other balachis at their back and call? is it suffice to assume that the only bad guys in CIA are Whitford and Barlow? i mean, shouldn't Whitford as Deputy Director have another rogue agents on his side too? ini tidak, when Barlow is dead, as if it's ok now, the super villain is dead and CIA is now clean.

and the mercenary himself is of mistaken descent. this movie is shot at Cape Town and the super villain is of Arab descent with konco-konco Arab plus African. hmmm...

the up points of this movie however, is that you could experience the perplexing emotion running amok in Weston. and that basically he is just doing his job for his country while maintaining his conscience. with tears dripping off his quivering eyelashes, the red eyes just convey how tortured he was in his course for truth and justice.

mata-mata yang bening, ewwah :)

 DW also portrayed a convincing image of a rogue agent escaping the CIA grid as he lost his trust in the agency's backhanded ways in achieving the greater good for the country regardless of the collateral damage. when Carlos dies of honor and loyalty to Frost, it was a very touching moment...

Carlos asks Frost to not divulge the secret contained in the microchip

all in all, this film is about honor and loyalty among comrades for the right justice. and it struck a cord within me, a government officer, to question my motives in serving my country etc. ewwah. berfalsafah la pulak, he he he

just to note. i do love the clothes that Linklater wore. very nice!
among others :)

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