Starring: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Reggie Lee

Everything about Safe seems to scream straight-to-DVD B-movie, but it’s Statham himself that lifts it above the mundane. Sure, dodgy New York accent aside, he’s got enough acting chops to set him apart from his genre peers, but more importantly he’s blessed with that rare on-screen charm that always makes you root for him, even if you know the plot will play out exactly as it has done in all his previous films.

In case you’re wondering, this time around the story follows 12-year-old maths genius Mei (Catherine Chan), who is snatched from the streets of China to manage the books of New York’s triads. However, with the organisation’s all-important numbers locked away in her head, she soon becomes the target everybody is after in a highly violent gang war between the Triads, Russian Mafia and corrupt police.

Enter Luke Wright (Statham). The one-time cop turned failed cage fighter is on the verge of suicide after getting on the wrong side of the very same Russians. Having royally pissed them off by winning a fight he was meant to lose, the gangsters decide to give him a punishment worse than death – they kill his family and then vow to kill anyone he gets close to, while leaving him alive.

In time-honoured fashion, he’s the hard man with nothing to lose except his own personal demons. That is, of course, until a chance meeting with the child prodigy shows him the light of redemption and he strikes up a Leon-esque friendship with the girl, resulting in a rapidly growing heap of dirty cops, Chinese gangsters and their Russian rivals.

One thing’s for sure, Safe it bound to make a tidy profit, as all Statham movies do, which perhaps explains the surprising presence of Kevin Spacey and long time Quentin Tarantino collaborator Lawrence Bender amongst the film’s list of producers.

Verdict: Three stars