Safe ★★★★

For someone who churns out as much direct-to-video crap as Jason Statham, it's crazy that he still not only gets strong supporting roles in tentpole action flicks, but also can headline the odd enjoyable, solid action movie like Safe.

Safe does itself an early favor by setting up both Statham and a 12-year-old Asian math wiz in parallel, fairly depressing storylines. It leads you to empathize with each of their plights, and essentially there's "no way to go but up" for both characters. Once the two finally meet towards the end of the first act, the movie kicks into Jason Statham-kicking-ass action movie mode.

However, two things about the action took this flick this up a notch for me. First, the writers obviously spent a bit more time than normal thinking through the actual consequences of say, for example, a major gunfight in an upscale hotel. Events that transpire have a certain logic to them and escalate as they should, and characters react and counter-react appropriately. Secondly, a lot of the action is brutal and quick. There are some out-of-left-field "instakills," but also a lot of great shootouts, martial arts action, and general bone-crushing, heads-blown-off, rooms-stuffed-with-dead-bad-guys violence that always leaves a grin on my face.

The last 15 minutes of the movie or so could have been stronger, and there were a few times where the movie dipped a bit into too much seriousness when it didn't need to. That said, if you're looking for some satisfying, brutal action that still tells a decent story, you'll be "safe" -ber her- checking this one out.