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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.