Safety Quick View; Grade: C
Safety tells a story about Clemson college student named Ray Ray (Jay Reeves) whom is on a full ride scholarship to play safety for the Clemson Tigers. Ray Ray experience in college has been pretty busy with classes, learning the playbook, especially practice on the field, and a possible love interest. But Ray Ray will encounter a new challenge, as his younger brother Fahmarr (Thaddeus Mixson) needs reliable parental guidance, as their mother can’t take care of Fahmarr due to being in rehab for her drug addiction. Instead of putting Fahmarr in a foster home, Ray Ray decided to take on the challenge to be his guardian for the time being till their mother is done. Ray Ray now takes on a challenge of being a college student, college athlete, watching over Fahmarr, and also sneaking Fahmarr in and out from his dorm room so no one on campus can find out he’s living with him. Witness an inspiring story of dedication, hard work, relentlessness, and the core value of family.
The strength that comes with Safety is simply the story... It’s most certainly a truly incredible inspiring story. It’s definitely a story worth being told, as learning about this young man taking on so many responsibilities and challenges was extremely bold and brave. The love this young man has for his brother truly is heart warming indeed, as he doesn’t let anything stop his will in providing a secure and safe home his little brother, despite the NCAA is frown against it. Sure the dialogue could’ve been better, however at least the story has something to offer in which you are interested in, plus providing a valuable tale to tell as well.
Unfortunately Safety comes with a handful of weaknesses. It all starts with the Cinematography as I found it extremely underwhelming. Keep in mind: Disney has had a reputation on making solid sports films in the past. While we have advanced over the years in terms of technology, picture quality, and most certainly film making... Why does a film made in 2020 looks extremely terrible, compared to the likes of Miracle, Glory, Miracle, and Remember the Titans just to name a few that have been made more than decades ago?! Other than the football scene where Clemson plays Florida Atlantic... Every other shot in this film looks extremely cheap. With an inspiring story like this... There is no excuse to why this film looks so cheap, to the point where it doesn’t look an actual film at all. I don’t understand the lack of quality behind this, I found it extremely offensive that a story like this gets this kind of treatment, it’s unacceptable. I also don’t like the framing in many scenes, where scenes shouldn’t be shot so close. The close up shots were amateur like, just looks odd. I also thought the film making wasn’t that good either, the camera work felt wanky during several scenes.
The cast of Safety t’was mediocre as well by just about everyone. The one thing I will bring a positive from the likes of Jay Reeves and Thaddeus Mixson, is I think they do have solid chemistry as they make themselves believable brothers. However performance along for both of these actors individually... I felt extremely underwhelmed. What doesn’t help Thaddeus and Jay is the fact they showed the real brothers behind this film at the very end... Both of them sound ENTIRELY different, compared to the actors that played them. Both had strong southern accents, so how come the director didn’t direct these actors to give a valid attempt at it?! When it comes to these stories that are based off a true story... You want to be as accurate as possible. I can understand if fictional value was added so it help provide a completed narrative, that happens all the time and it can be sometimes excused. But the fact you couldn’t get your actors to do an accurate portrayal in providing a southern accent... Are we that lazy?! I mean both the lack of desire to direct any of these actors to bring a good performance, along with lack of providing quality to your film making completely compliments each other. You have something genuinely special here in terms of story telling, however it’s entirely weighed down by everything else. If this film was made back in the 1990’s or 2000’s, where Disney actually cared about the quality in their films... This would’ve easily been good if not great, it’s a damn shame.
Overall, Safety was just ok. I think it’s worth watching for the story alone, it’ll definitely help inspire you especially where we at currently in the world today. -Mitch Smietana