Denzel Washington is way too fine an actor to hide his talents in standard-issue action claptrap like Safe House. As the film drags on, the mischievous glint in Washington's eyes grows dim as if he, like us, is fighting to stay awake. Who can blame him? Washington plays Tobin Frost, a rogue CIA agent sent to a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, where a newbie agent, Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), is meant to slap him down to size on the orders of bosses played by Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, who each have the grace to look embarrassed. Swedish director Daniel Espinonza lays on lots of flashy editing that can't begin to disguise the fact that we can see every twist coming. Worse, Safe House asks us to believe that Ryan Reynolds can outclass Denzel Washington in the art of being a hard-ass. Not on this planet, baby.
© 2012 Universal Studios