Last night was the annual Valentine’s ball, a fundraiser and award ceremony for undergraduate college scholarships. In the silent auction, I successfully bid on a lovely small surrealist painting of a train flying over a pueblo done by a local artist, though I lost out on some funky antique jewelry. It’s really wonderful to meet the scholarship recipients and their families. I look forward to the event each year. After dancing to the musical stylings of the Nash Hernandez Orchestra and leading a cumbia line around the dance floor [oh, yes I did], like Cinderella, ella, ella, I dashed out of the ball. My date and I hurried our way to the movie theater in order to catch the day’s last showing of Safe House directed by the Swedish Latino Mr. Daniel Espinosa from Trångsund, Stockholm. While we got to the multiplex with moments to spare, turns out we went to the wrong location [my fault]. Elitistacademic fail, not to mention I was denied the novelty or rather the oddity of attending a late show in a ballgown.
Second-time’s a charm. Upon reflection, maybe it was sign that we should have seen something else. I read a description of Safe House online, and it was utterly impenetrable. Something about a “backwater post,” a “housekeeper,” and some spies. I immediately thought The Help meets Jason Bourne, and my money was on Minny. I was intrigued, sorta. I love me some Denzel; Ryan Reynolds is charming and unoffensive. But this movie was . . . well it was unnecessarily long for one thing. 1:55 was too much time for the inevitably of that ending. And dammit, I should not be able to identify the villain even before all the major characters have been introduced. I was also confused about why a safe house with every kind of pass key and super high-tech security devise, except a full-body scanner, could be penetrated so easily simply by shutting down the power. Anybody with some bolt cutters or C-4 could waltz right in with an assault team and “so long house guest.” Some security upgrades are most definitely in order.
I also need someone to explain to me the necessity of setting Safe House in South Africa, a locale made all the more problematic by the racial politics of the film. How is it that in the cinematic global village, Latinos are still thugging it up? Triste. Speaking of which, what’s up with all the super spy weeping? Ryan cries, a lot. Denzel cries. Towards the end, I was ready to cry because I needed the film to be over. I say, be gone super tight shots of close combat. Who can see what’s going on anyway? I say, adios multiple endings. Who needs three or four false conclusions? Cut that mess off and give me a badass parting shot. Finally I say, au revior to one liners, and with that, I bid you adieu. Not to worry, “I’ll take it from here.”