Safe House (2012) –
Despite being a fan of both Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, I admit that I was skeptical when I first saw the trailer for Safe House – another run-of-the-mill, brainless action movie, which is pretty much what this is, but with more brains than I gave it credit for. Despite being a modern-day action flick, there is, joyfully, substance to this movie in which CIA agent Matt Weston (Reynolds) is charged with holding veteran operative Tobin Frost (Washington) in safe house where he is ‘interrogated’ (read : tortured) by the CIA . Needless to say, allegiances are called into question and unlikely alliances are formed as Weston discovers the truth behind the CIA’s interest in Frost. Despite its somewhat predictable trajectory, Safe House has managed to pull off modern-day action tripe with a little more bulk than many of its kind in recent times.
Sausage Party (2016) – ★★★
With funny and rude adult animation, Sausage Party takes us on the journey of grocery items in their discovery of the truth about the ‘Great Beyond’ once they are purchased from the grocery store. Add a love story between a sausage and a hot dog bun and it’s an entertaining watch. I could happily have done without the ending, but this was a generally enjoyable film which almost lives up to South Park (TV series) in its levels of crudeness and abundance of stereotypes. A fantastic concept, generally well executed and guaranteed to give a few laughs.
The Equalizer (2014) –
A rather typical ‘hero-of-the-hour’ action piece in which Denzel Washington is back as the ‘The Equalizer’ Robert McCall; an ageing man with a mysterious past that he has chosen to leave behind for a quiet, comfortable life. Until he meets young Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a lost young soul who also turns out to be working as an escort for violent Russian mobsters. When Teri gets into trouble with her bosses, Robert cannot stand idly by.But in order to aid Teri, he must unleash his demons and let his past self take over. The utilisation of various special effects and filming techniques to actually show us McCalls’ thought processes within combat mode are clever and are what gives this film an edge over the average action-hero movie.
And, you know…Denzel Washington. ‘Nough said.
Fallen (1998) – ★★★
An unusual pick for Denzel Washinton, Fallen is a supernatural-thriller in which Washington plays police detective John Hobbes, on the hunt for a copycat killer who is enacting the crimes of recently executed serial killer Edgar Reese (Elias Koteas). However, things are not as they seem and Hobbes soon realises that killer Reese was in fact possessed by a ‘fallen angel’ – one who possesses the ability to pass from human-to-human by touch. In his bid to stop the possessions, Hobbes find himself embroiled in a cat-and-mouse game with the demon, who wants nothing more than to destroy him.
It’s fun to see Denzel Washington in such a different to what he has done before and it’s a pretty clever film, though not to everyone’s taste. Sidenote: I sometimes still find myself humming along to the song that is the demon’s trademark tune, ‘Time is On My Side’.