Last weekend’s trip to the cinema was a new experience for me, usually when the choice comes up of which film to go see it is either a romcom or drama but this weekend I decided to see an action thriller, totally out of character for me. But the reason I made an exception for the Denzel Washington CIA-esque flick, Safe House was biased because it was set in Cape Town.
Walking around in Cape Town, one is used to seeing film shoots shutting down large areas of the CBD but it is usually just a substitute for 1950s Alabama or 1940s Los Angeles, or some films like Blood Diamond or Rendition where the a snippet of Cape Town is shown, but I have never seen a big Hollywood blockbuster where the film is set in Cape Town.
I must say it is extremely distracting to watch Ryan Reynolds standing in the exact place that I stand every morning as I get off the train to make my way grudging to work, or have the very same Ryan Reynolds ride his motorcycle on the freeway I drove on everyday to go to university, or see Denzel Washington walk down the same road that I walk down when I have a makeup emergency.
Once when I was reading about the film Roman Holiday it said that the film was black and white so the viewer can’t be distracted by how picturesque Rome is and not pay attention to the story that was developing onscreen. I must admit that is how I felt throughout most of the movie, though the film was fast-paced, Washington was sensational and the plot was reasonably easy to follow, I kept trying to figure out where they were.
I do not think it is right for me to give a critical review of Safe House as my knowledge of action films are sparse and I have don’t have many films to compare it to. But unless I’m mistaken most films about the CIA follow the same premise – corruption, one whistleblower, the bad guy vs. the good guy etc. I think what added to my constant starstruckness was the fact that Brendan Gleeson plays a central role, but even though he has been countless films, he will always be Mad-Eye Moody to me. Harry Potter references always makes me happy. Overall the film was enjoyable and made me proud to be a Capetonian. I wonder if the residents of New York and Los Angeles constantly feel this way?