Jason Statham is having a great summer, since Meg 2: The Trench opened well against Barbie in the midst of one of the most crowded lineups of movies at the box office since the pandemic started in 2020. This week, Statham also had the distinction of landing a film in Netflix’s top 10 most popular movies list with the 2012 action thriller, Safe. And while this movie wasn’t a hit during its run in theaters, Safe is blowing up on Netflix and climbing the ranks as we speak.
Netflix does tend to have that effect on movies that were ignored the first time around. But Safe stands out among the massive library of action titles on the streamer because it knows its audience well, and it delivers everything that you want to see in this kind of movie. So if you’re looking for an action fix from Netflix, these are the three reasons why you should watch Jason Statham’s Safe.
Jason Statham’s action movie roles almost always tend to fall within the same range, and many of his characters tend to blur together. But his character in Safe, Luke Wright, offers Statham to show much more vulnerability than usual. Near the beginning of the movie, Luke is stripped of everything he loves because he accidentally won a fixed fight that he was meant to lose. So the Russian mafia murders his wife and unborn child, and leaves Luke despondent and eventually on the verge of suicide.
But this is also a movie that understands why fans come out for action flicks. And it lets Statham cut loose in inventive ways without losing sight of the fact that this is the type of film that people watch to see the hero kicking butt. That’s something that Statham excels at, and it’s a great opportunity to see the master at work.
Catherine Chan has limited film credits, but she’s incredibly believable in Safe as Mei, the young math prodigy who bonds with Luke. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense for Mei and Luke to connect. She’s been forced to live as a slave without any parental love, while Luke is still mourning the family that he never got the chance to have. Saving Mei allows Luke to save himself and it also gives him a chance to actually feel and care for someone again.
This wouldn’t have worked if Chan and Statham couldn’t sell that bond on screen. And they not only pulled it off, it’s one of the most compelling aspects of the film. Luke may not be her father, but he clearly sees Mei as the closest thing that he’ll ever have to a daughter.
Boaz Yakin wrote and directed Safe, and he throws just about everything at Statham’s character in the film. Luke not only has to fight the Chinese Triad that enslaved Mei, but he also has to avenge himself against the Russian mafia and face down his corrupt former colleagues in the NYPD. It’s more than enough to overwhelm any film, but Yakin makes the action feel kinetic and brutal without losing track of the stakes at any given moment in the story.
Safe isn’t an action masterpiece, but it’s very well made and that makes it stand out against some of the more generic offerings on Netflix. That’s the biggest reason why audiences are embracing it now over a decade after its short stay in theaters.
Watch Safe on Netflix.
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