Safety Not Guaranteed - Blu-ray Review

'director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly show oodles of the talent that has led to them being handed the keys to one of Universal's biggest franchises'

Safety Not Guaranteed is an entertaining Indie, from the director of the forthcoming Jurassic World, which eventually falls over into its own sweetness, unable to dish out a few harsh realities to the characters it clearly cares so much about. Desiring and showing happy endings is one thing, but perfect ones that operate on such a cathartic level, solving all ills with the swish of a screenwriters pen? The cynic in me - though, bizarrely, not the cynic in this film (Jake Johnson) - just finds them a little hard to take.

Before then though director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly show oodles of the talent that has led to them being handed the keys to one of Universal's biggest franchises. The character writing is superb. Yes, these are fairly join-the-dots stereotypes (the geek, the troubled pixie girl, the smart ass) but at least they both, a) act consistently with their characters and b) are entertaining archetypes, rather than nasty pokes at the people they represent. The inevitable scene of Jeff (Johnson) attempting to get Arnau (Karan Soni) out of his shell does not proceed because Jeff - in this endeavour for entirely selfish reasons - particularly wants to help Arnau, more so because he wants to get drunk and Arnau is there to help him. Similarly, his fumbling Romance with old flame Liz (Jenica Bergere) has few moments of genuine two-way sweetness.

Whilst Johnson in particular puts in a fantastic turn which shows he has a bright future as at least consistent comic relief, Safety Not Guaranteed belongs to Aubrey Plaza, who occasionally deems to share it with Mark Duplass. Wary of Jeff's desire for a story which may hurt Kenneth (Duplass), a local who believes he has time travelled, and will again (Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed), Darius (Plaza) gets caught in a gap between past neuroses, current catharsis and the need of every intern to make their way in the world. A time travel narrative is the perfect setting for her, caught as she is between past ills and future promise which may never be. Plaza makes Darius human with a questioning innocence that takes on Arnau's apparent ambivalence, Jeff's cynicism and, perhaps, Kenneth's self-doubt.

This all comes to a head in sweet-natured and fairly predictable ways - until the final scene - and the fact that you go along with it is more endemic of the fact that Trevorrow and Connolly have managed to ensure you are invested in the characters. It doesn't all work but as a calling card for the lead talent and an easy, entertaining watch for the rest of us, this will do just fine.





By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

No comments:

Post a comment