Safe Haven Blu-ray review



         I’m not certain what is more insulting about Safe Haven; the absurdly asinine twist ending which changes the entire genre of the film in the final few minutes, or the fact that Nicholas Sparks now has a production company with the sole intent to churn these films out with the soul-less precision of a production line. As long as people continue to buy into the fact that Sparks keeps repeating himself on page, there is no reason for him to hide the blatant similarities to far more successful works from earlier in his career. Sparks has become the romance novel equivalent to John Grisham’s courtroom thrillers; enjoyable in the first few outings and increasingly tiresome with each imitation that followed.


         Safe Haven has all the familiar elements and characters, with a few more thrown in for good measure. The female protagonist of Katie was offered to Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan was rumored to be attached as well, but the role ultimately fell into the lap of far lesser known Julianne Hough. Katie has a mysterious past and a dangerous looking detective (David Lyons) looking for her, but she manages to feel safe enough in the small town of Southport, North Carolina thanks to a widowed shopkeeper named Alex (Josh Duhamel).


         The film has all of the appropriate romantic steps, as this is Sparks’ bread and butter, and director Lasse Hallström has apparently settled into a comfortable place making these films as well. Alex slowly opens up to Katie for the first time with anyone since his wife, and Katie trusts him because he’s a gentle and good father. We have man small-town scenes of chivalry and kindness before the first kiss. If only the film had been satisfied with the romance sans suspense, I might have been able to end the review with a kind word. The suspense is predictable and forced, but it is nothing compared to the terrible twist revealed at the end. Consider yourself warned. The reason this film got such bad reviews could have been avoided had this one plot twist been left out of the book’s adaptation. I suppose this is the trouble when the author has his own production company.


         The Blu-ray combo pack includes a DVD/digital copy disc, as well as the high definition disc. The special features on the Blu-ray include an alternate ending, as well as some deleted and extended scenes. There is also a set tour and a few featurettes which are mostly just fluff footage, such as Duhamel learning how to go crabbing.


Entertainment Value: 7/10

Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10

Historical Significance: 1/10

Disc Features: 5/10



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