Jason Statham's best film is on the box tonight
A tremendous throwback thriller that deserves more love than it got at the time.
Jason Statham has starred in a many a movie since the turn of the century, and has stolen the show in a great deal of them.
He's a man who knows his range, understands precisely what kind of film he's either headlining or providing support to and he boasts wicked charisma and comedy chops to boot.
Statham is unlikely to win an Oscar for a sensitive drama any time soon - though he can do that, also; check out Hummingbird for an admirable and rarely-seen change of pace - and he's probably okay with that.
Still, he deserves a great deal of respect for carving out such an impressive career, and while many will likely point his early work with Guy Ritchie or his wild turns in the Crank, Transporter and Fast & Furious movies for his finest hour, we're here to argue otherwise.
Tonight - Wednesday 12 December - SyFy is showing his very best, and that film is called Safe.
Clip via Lionsgate Movies
Released in 2012, Safe tells a simple enough story. Statham fails to throw an MMA fight in the opening seconds and pays for it in the most horrific way imaginable.
From there, he is informed that anyone he strikes up any kind of relationship will be murdered by an always-watching Russian mob.
Just when it seems like he's at the end of his rope, a chance for redemption emerges, and that's bad news for his enemies and a corrupt police force that he has previous with.
Director Boaz Yakin makes the most of a small budget, employing clever camerawork flourishes and getting the most from his setting and his cast.
What's more, the film manages to pull off the impossible - saddle the lead actor with a hyper-intelligent child and for this device to not only derail things but power the plot forward on the back of a convincing bond. Think Mercury Rising, only good.
Statham is at his career-best here, shining both as a believable hero but also one with tremendous human flaws.
Yakin - who also wrote the script and is responsible for cult classic Remember the Titans - noted on the film's commentary that he had to convince his star to show as much vulnerability as possible, and you'll be glad that he was successful.
Like Statham, Safe doesn't try to be anything more than it really needs to be. It's a tight, tense thriller reminiscent of the best things you pulled off the shelf in the VHS era, and it deserves a lot more love - and eyes - than it got back in 2012.
Safe is on SyFy tonight - Friday 18 January - at 9pm