Denizen of dark­ness

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

AS WE have learned from Train­ing Day and Amer­i­can Gang­ster, when­ever that paragon of good­ness Den­zel Washington chan­nels his bad side, it is time to pay at­ten­tion.

The Washington wacko driv­ing this pulpy freight train of a pic is Tobin Frost, a rogue CIA black- ops man who went off the grid in the late 1990s.

Now back in cus­tody of the feds – al­beit in a grotty, heav­ily for­ti­fied shack in sub­ur­ban Cape Town, South Africa – the wily Frost is be­ing prepped for in­ter­ro­ga­tion be­fore fac­ing trea­son charges back in the US.

Just as Frost’s cap­tors are wa­ter­board­ing some in­tel out of him, the sup­posed ‘‘ safe house’’ is stormed by masked mer­ce­nar­ies.

At the cli­max of the bloody skir­mish that fol­lows, Frost is hauled to safety by the last CIA man left stand­ing, rookie agent Matt We­ston ( Ryan Reynolds, pic­tured with Washington).

With fur­ther CIA back- up more than a day away, We­ston must scam­per all over Cape Town in search of a place to keep Frost out of harm’s way.

This is more than enough time for Frost to get in­side the head of his new­bie han­dler, per­suad­ing him a wider con­spir­acy in­volv­ing the US gov­ern­ment could be play­ing out around them.

As you would ex­pect, the so­cio­pathic grav­i­tas so ef­fort­lessly dis­pensed by Washington makes a run- of- the- mill shootem- up like Safe House of­ten seem bet­ter than it ac­tu­ally is.

Nev­er­the­less his pun­ish­ing pres­ence does ex­tract some strong work in re­sponse from co- star Reynolds, who can of­ten coast along in movies when not chal­lenged.

Now show­ing

Vil­lage Cine­mas

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