Articles & Notes — May 31, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Reasons why Jason Statham’s “Safe” made me smile…

There’s one good thing about Jason Statham – he knows what action fans want, and he delivers it.

Thus far, he’s among very few who keep delivering these “R” rated action movies that may have bad acting or silly stories, but action wise – they always deliver.

That’s why I try to watch most of what Statham does these days.

The $30 million action thriller “Safe” – one of Statham’s latest vehicles was quite entertaining, lots of action (both shootouts and fighting), but the film offered me a little more than that.

To be honest, I am a sucker for “familiar faces” in movies. Faces that I’ve seen, faces that I remember. And its SAFE to say, that “Safe” had quite a lot of those faces, seeing which put a smile on my face.

First of such faces was James Hong. I join all those who say James has to get his star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame one day. He first appeared in a film back in 1954. He last appeared in a film in 2012. He’s made roughly 300 plus films.

He’s been in low-budget movies, dramas, thrillers, horror movies, big blockbusters and even had a part in a porn movie. Yes, he also did voice work for “Kung Fu Panda”.

Hong is among those of whom we say “he’s done it all”. He did indeed. In “Safe”, Hong is a Chinese mafia boss, and he looks darn good, considering his age (born in 1929). Plus, in all of the films that I’ve seen him, Hong never speaks Chinese throughout the whole film. He does so in “Safe”.

Another smile came up later mostly towards the end, as I was thinking over Robert John Burke’s part as Captain Wolf. I cannot say I am a fan of Burke, but he certainly has “everything” to be a lot bigger than he is. He’s got great voice, great looks, and he’s also a certified fire fighter (believe it or not, he does it, when not working on a movie, how can you not respect that?).

Burke did a great job in “Safe”, however he would have done a lot better in a lead part. Anyone remember “Thinner” or “Dust Devil”?

Other familiar faces were Igor Jijikine (who seems to have become the next “Russian bad guy” in Hollywood), James Lew and Simon Rhee.

While most people watch movies like “Safe” for Statham only, I like when someone like Statham has good – and what’s most important – familiar supporting cast. I don’t remember myself watching a film (of any genre) for only one actor/performance.

A movie is never a one-man-show. So, “Safe” might not be Jason Statham’s best work, but its definitely solid action with familiar faces. They make every film better.

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