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Review: Safety (2020)

Directed by Reginald Hudlin. Written by Nick Santora. Starring Jay Reeves, Thaddeus J. Mixson, and Corinne Fox.

Safety is an original film by Disney+. The movie focuses on a true story about Clemson football player Ray-Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves), who had to take care of his younger brother, Fahmarr (Thaddeus J. Mixson), secretly on campus because Fahmarr’s home life became unsteady. Director Reginald Hudlin and writer Nick Santora do a fantastic job of thrusting viewers into the world of college football and the atmosphere of university life. The life of a student athlete is complicated as the film accurately portrays.

Hudlin creates a fun college atmosphere that shows that college is fun. I must admit that the soundtrack did crack me up unintentionally as I heard songs from the past that I haven’t heard in a while. One of the songs was “Lean Back” by Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe and Remy Ma. Oh, that took me back to when I was in high school. Hudlin does put emotional significance on what addiction can do to a family. Fahmarr and Ray’s mother is addicted to drugs, then gets sent to rehab. Hudlin and Santora goes in-depth with the history of addiction in a few scenes of the film. It makes the flick an educational experience as well.

The acting in the movie is a mixture of good and average performances. Some of the most entertaining work is by the supporting characters. James Badge Dale is terrific as Coach Brad Simmons and Hunter Sansone is comical as Daniel Morelli. Jay Reeves and Thaddeus Mixson have brotherly chemistry that is heartfelt. The scenes where Ray has to take Fahmarr across campus without being seen are hilarious. Corinne Fox provides the film with a calm sincerity in her performance. One of the weak performances is Matthew Glave, who plays Coach Tommy Bowden. There’s not enough emotion, so it’s hard to take him serious as you can the other coaches, such as Coach Simmons.

To conclude, Safety is a football movie that’s sincere in its purpose. It feels like it would work better if it was an episodic series on Disney+. That way it could have more development. Otherwise, still a great flick.

Overall rating: 3.5/5.