So, today I got to go to the pre-screening of Safe House, starring Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds and CAPE TOWN.
You can read a bit about the backstory and see the trailer in my previous blog post here.
Safe House is set in Cape Town – for no reason other than it’s a cool place to be set. There is no political undertone, not once is there a ‘is it coz I’m black?’ subtext and there is very little reference to anything about WHY they are in South Africa in the first place. None of the baddies are South African, all of the leads are foreign – no one is attempting a South African accent (where they undeniably fail, with the exception of Matt Damon in Invictus) and the bottom line is: Safe House is just a COOL movie, about CIA rouge operatives – with lots of guns, lots of chasing, lots of escapes and lots of COOLNESS. It makes Cape Town look beautiful, with some great helicopter shots coming over the mountain. And it doesn’t put South Africa in a bad light at all. Thank you Safe House for putting us on the map.
Now I’m a girl who generally doesn’t like shoot-em-up action movies, but Safe House is worth watching for lots of reasons (Ryan Reynolds’ abs aside). 90% of the scenes are recognisable places in the city, you get to hear sentences like “we’re tracking the suspect, he just turned into Darling Street” and “I’m out of the city – just getting into Woodstock now” (these things will make you bounce in your seat with glee if you are like me.)
There are lots of cameos by recognisable South African celebs in the form of Henchmen, cops and CIA intel workers. (Jenna Dover pulling off a believable American Accent)
You will get to chuckle with all the patrionism of a local as the geography of the car chase scenes make absolutely NO sense, and each cut sees the actors on roads in different parts of the city (but more photogenic) To an international audience, this will go past seamlessly – to us, it’s just a smug little giggle.
Spoiler Alert: There are Guns in the Movie!
The plot is an average CIA movie, not too many twists – not too complicated. The acting is great by the two leads with Ryan Reynolds even spitting out a few lines of Afrikaans – bravo! Our Greenpoint stadium even makes a cameo. The movie succeeds in making us look like a cosmopolitan city with a functioning infrastructre and police-force to be reckoned with. You won’t be cringing – you’ll be proud.
The most unbelievable part is that, during the high speed car chase scenes through the inner city like Long Street and Darling Street, there is not ONE pedestrian casualty. All the pedestrians dive out of the way of the cars, even when they ramp pavements. Now, anyone who has driven in Cape Town will attest to the fact that we are some of the world’s best drivers – because we are constantly having to be aware of jaywalking pedestrians EVERYWHERE. I chuckled at the notion of them diving out of the way of ANY car…
And ladies – if your patriotism isn’t enough to lure you to see a movie full of guns and punches, let me leave you with this:
Ryan Reynolds has a shower kissing scene in the first 5 mins. Yes. Yum.
And with that mental image nicely in my mind, I shall bid you all a very good night – and a Safe House.