THRILLER; 1hr 55min
STARRING: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard
House mates: from left, Reynolds and Washington
Denzel Washington (Training Day ) always makes a juicy, silky villain and as CIA defector Tobin Frost, rogue for nine years and wanted on four continents for espionage, he is unreadably cool and poised. But you don’t get to be this big of a bad penny without a roll call of enemies, no matter how poised you are, and when Frost turns up in Cape Town, even a CIA safe house is unable to contain him. After the house is breached by a squad of gunmen, Frost and naïve rookie “housekeeper” Matt Weston (Reynolds) have no choice but to take off, reluctant collaborators in a struggle to keep Frost alive.
Take away the back and forth with the bigwigs at CIA headquarters (Farmiga, Gleeson and Shepard) and David Guggenheim’s moody, forceful screenplay revolves around the interplay between Washington and Reynolds, spiked with adrenaline jolts by director Daniel Espinosa. The self-assertive stars are unfazed by the pressure but the immoderate violence packs an unholy wallop after a while and the corruption-riddled complications are a flashy dose of déjà vu.