Fox on film: Safe House, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Safe House

Prepare to see a lot more of director Daniel Espinosa in the next few years as his action-packed thriller Safe House, starring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington, promises to please, writes guest reviewer Alison Devlin.

If you like fast car scenes, brutal fights and non-stop twists, Safe House is the film for you.

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Matt Weston (Reynolds) is a normal guy. He has a girlfriend, a nine to five job and a good life. Doesn’t sound like an interesting thriller at first, but add in that he works for the CIA and that his office is a secret safe house and get ready for a film that keeps you on your toes.

One day the phone rings and Weston’s world is turned upside down when Tobin Frost (Washington) becomes his house guest. A newly captured rogue agent who has sold American intelligence all over the globe and who is currently holding one of the biggest secrets in the world, but what the CIA doesn’t know is others want his secrets, too.

Before the audience can blink, the safe house is compromised and Weston is drawn into a world of corruption and danger, followed by Frost in handcuffs.

“Rule number one – you are responsible for your house guest.”

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During a recent interview Washington described his character as “the psychopath next door” and said his character, Frost, “would rather play with Matt, not kill him”.

Though Washington gives an amazing performance as usual, it is Reynolds who captivates the audience with an emotive performance throughout the film stealing the limelight from Washington. He begins the film as a boy, but ends it a man.

The film lacks a defining moment between Washington’s and Reynolds’ characters. They are both very secretive, but as their relationship develops, you expect and want them to open up more.

Unfortunately it never happens, and Espinosa makes up for that through explosions and gunfire.

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So if you like to be put on the edge of your seat with your blood pumping and your heart pounding, this is a film for you.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Some fine British acting talents head up this comedy drama that rarely strays much from the Carry On Abroad template, thanks to a sugary coating that doesn’t do its talent justice.

A group of retirees head to India, believing they are going to spend time in a luxury resort.

Managed by the charming and engaging Dev Patel, it’s far from luxurious but, as you can guess, after initial disgust they let their prejudices slip away and the true India and the truth of their lives unfolds.

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A nice film that is very sentimental, but thanks to its cast, including Dames Judi and Maggie, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson, is always watchable.

Red Dog

Talking of sentimental, this is an Australian ‘true legend’ of a red dog who united a community in the Outback.

It’s fun and fluffy and really sugary, but the lead canine is adorable and charming. Move over Uggie from The Artist.