Safety Not Guaranteed

"Essential"

Safety Not Guaranteed Review


With a low budget but a lot of imagination and talent, director Trevorrow and writer Connolly create a deceptively simple comedy that's one of the most entertaining films of the year. It's so cleverly written that every moment of the film is hugely engaging, and it's so perfectly played by its cast that we can't help but fall for the likeable, flawed characters.

Set in Washington state, the story centres on Darius (Plaza), a sardonic Seattle magazine intern whose life derailed when she was 14, after her mother's death. So her interest is piqued when she hears about a classified ad asking for an assistant on a time travel mission ("Bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed"). She accompanies arrogant journalist Jeff (Johnson) and fellow intern Arnau (Soni) to a seaside town to write up the story for the magazine, but once they track down the ad's author Kenneth (Duplass), nothing goes as expected.

Each of these three magazine reporters has a full-bodied story, expertly set within the larger investigation of whether Kenneth is nuts or not. All of these characters are caught between their past and the present, exploring who they once were, who they are and who they want to be, which makes them easy to identify with even as they do some amusingly silly things. And the filmmakers cleverly refuse to play into our expectations, keeping us guessing about where the movie is heading. So each scene bristles with possibility, and each twist and turn of the plot and side-plots is both thrilling and hilarious. 

The film has a loose, improvised feel to it, which makes even the spicier characters endearing. At the centre, Plaza draws on her familiar disaffected Parks and Recreation persona to hold the whole film together and take us on this comical adventure with her. She gives each scene an edge of black comedy as well as a surprising underlying sweetness that never gets cloying due to the brisk pace, anarchic humour and resonant emotion. Like the characters, we feel like we have been carried effortlessly into an adventure that we never want to end.

Rich Cline



Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 18th October 2012

Box Office USA: $4.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $4M

Budget: $750 thousand

Distributed by: Film District

Production compaines: Big Beach Films, Duplass Brothers Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 124 Rotten: 13

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Producer: Derek Connolly, Stephanie Langhoff, , Colin Trevorrow,

Starring: as Darius Britt, as Kenneth Calloway, as Jeff Schwensen, Karan Soni as Arnau, Jenica Bergere as Liz McHollis, as Belinda, as Mr. Britt, as Bridget Bay, William Hall Jr. as Shannon, Tony Doupe as Smith (as Tony Doupé), Xola Malik as Jones, Kimberly Durham as Linsey, Grace Arends as Darcy, Scott Swan as Halloween, Basil Harris as Restaurant Manager, Tom Ricciardelli as Security Guard, as Uptight Mom, Eli Borozan as Kid in Diner, Alice Hung as Shift Manager

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.