Safe House

Rated 3.0

At least part of the time, Safe House is high-octane action-movie entertainment. Some of that time and other times as well, it takes on the air of a political thriller while also taking time here and there to pose enigmatic questions about its two central characters. The central premise has a young, untried CIA agent named Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) charged with the desperate task of bringing in Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington), a notorious rogue agent. That increasingly complicated pairing plays out against the larger backdrop of counter-espionage and intra-agency scheming, all ostensibly in the name of national security. Initially, Frost is the larger-than-life antagonist to Weston’s perhaps life-size protagonist, but the nature of that match-up shifts as events unfold. The plausibility of these shifts (and of Weston’s own character) gets increasingly thin as the twists of plot and character become more frenetic. And the movie itself, after starting out with a grab bag of disparate but intriguing premises, gradually reverts to merely generic moves. Cinemark 14. Rated R