Safe Not So Sound

Denzel Washington menaces, Ryan Reynolds takes his shirt off -- business as usual

Denzel Washington can look menacing without saying a single word. He did it in Training Day, and he's at it again in Safe House, though the end results aren't nearly as textured or deep.

Washington plays Tobin Frost, a former CIA agent who's accused of trading national secrets. Ryan Reynolds is Matt Weston, a baby-faced CIA newbie who goes shirtless at regular intervals and counts away the time at a rarely used safe house in South Africa pining for a tougher assignment. Then Tobin is brought in for questioning, which is followed by gunshots, fights, more gunshots, and assassins.

Are there corrupt bosses back at the agency? What about double agents? You betcha. Plus, Tobin is carrying dirt that someone doesn't want to see the light of day. Safe House sprints along, killing off extraneous bystanders and characters every step of the way. Sure, it's an action-packed ride, but it would be nice if it slowed down for a minute. --Vince Grzegorek