Safe House (2012) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

  • Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA rookie who is manning a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) the CIA's most wanted rogue agent is captured and taken to the safe house. During Frost's interrogation, the safe house is overtaken by mercenaries who want Frost. Weston and Frost escape and must stay out of the gunmen's sight until they can get to another safe house.

  • Tobin Frost is a CIA agent who's believed to have turned rogue, is in Capetown, South Africa. When he is pursued by men who want to kill him, he goes to the American Consulate where he knows he will be arrested. When the CIA learns of this, it's decided to bring him to a safe house in Capetown, where they will interrogate him. Shortly after they arrive, the men who chased Frost storm the safe house and kill everyone there. Matt Weston, the agent who's tasked with looking after the safe house, is the only one left, so he takes Frost and they go on the run. While on the run, Frost tells Weston that the only way those men found the safe house was that someone (on the inside) told them about it. Eventually Frost escapes and Weston is told to report to Langley but just as he's about to go there, he recalls something that Frost did that helps him figure out where he could be going. But just as he arrives, the men who are after Frost show up but Weston saves him and they head off. But Weston knows that Frost is holding something back.

  • In Cape Town, South Aftica, rookie CIA agent Matt Weston is a safe house keeper and is in love with his French girlfriend Ana Moreau who does not know about his double life. When the most wanted rogue and former CIA agent Tobin Frost surrenders to the American Consulate to escape from an attack of dangerous soldiers of fortune, he is brought to the safe house to be interrogated by specialist Daniel Kiefer and his team. However there is a breach in the safe house and mercenaries break in the place expecting to capture Tobin Frost. Matt escapes with Tobin and he contacts the CIA senior management Harlan Whitford, David Barlow and Catherine Linklater that give instruction to Matt to reach another safe house. But Tobin warns Matt that there is an informer in the CIA and he shall not trust in anyone.

  • Tobin Frost was once a well respected CIA agent, until he turned nine years ago, he who is now wanted for espionage. Largely underground, he voluntarily turns himself in to the US government via their consulate in Cape Town, South Africa. From there, he is transferred to a safe house overseen by neophyte CIA agent Matthew Weston, this posting which is relatively low within the bureaucracy. Weston's job is to protect his house guests at all cost. Out of circumstance, Weston and Frost are forced to go on the run from the house, largely without the help of anyone else within the agency, including those at Langley such as Weston's boss David Barlow, Barlow's peer Catherine Linklater who is in charge of the section interrogating Frost, and their superior Deputy Director Harlan Whitford, that is until they are able to give him further instructions. Weston's task is difficult as they are being pursued by some men who are after Frost for some reason and are willing to kill, and Frost is largely an unwilling companion, who tries to undermine Weston, particularly psychologically, and escape at every opportunity. Weston has no idea why Frost came in, something those at Langley are trying to determine. Weston knows his career is on the line if he fails in the mission, that is if he survives. During the process, Weston is continually thinking about his girlfriend, French national Ana Moreau, to who he lied about his job, and thus whose life may be in danger without her even knowing it or ever knowing why it may have been in danger.

  • When, after nearly a decade, the renegade CIA operative, Tobin Frost, decides to give himself up at the US consulate in Cape Town, the young and inexperienced agent and manager of one of the bureau's safe houses, Matt Weston, receives his most wanted prisoner. Thirsting to prove his worth, Matt will soon find himself on the run along with Frost, when fierce mercenaries attack the secret hideout, bent on capturing their precious target. Now, the improbable allies must team up to have a fighting chance, as the one behind the murderous scheme remains unknown. However, in a dangerous world where no place is safe, can Matt and Tobin survive long enough to unearth the mastermind of this lethal cat-and-mouse game?


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a junior CIA agent, drafted as housekeeper at a CIA safe house in Cape Town. Frustrated with the tedium of his placement and hiding his top secret career from his girlfriend, Ana Moreau (Nora Arnezeder), he hassles his mentor, David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson) for the chance to prove himself.

    When ex-CIA agent turned international criminal Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington), acquires a micro drive of top secret files from a rogue MI6 agent, a mysterious group led by Vargas (Fares Fares) attempts to assassinate him. A chase ensues through the streets of Cape Town, but as Vargas men close in, Frost turns himself in to the US consulate to avoid capture.

    When Frost is brought to the safe house by Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick) and his men, Vargas men storm the place, leaving Weston as the only surviving agent. Weston escapes with handcuffed Frost, and takes him to a temporary location while he awaits instruction from HQ and contacts Ana, telling her to leave her house, for fear of her safety.

    Barlow's pugnacious counterpart, Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga) orders Weston to collect a bag and GPS from a locker at Cape Town Stadium, giving the location of another safe house. Frost creates a scene to alert and deceive stadium security, who separate and detain the two. When Frost escapes security and acquires a guards uniform, Weston soon follows, but fails to capture Frost after a stand-off with the confused stadium security, in which Weston shoots a guard.

    Frost takes advantage of the distraction by ambushing Weston. Frost disarms and pistol whips Weston but spares his life saying he "only kills professionals".

    Having lost Frost, Weston is ordered to stand down. He visits Ana, as she is boarding a train to continue her life in Paris, and confesses all about his secret life as an agent. Weston's orders are to go to the US consulate in Cape Town for debriefing. Barlow and Linklater are ordered to go to SA to find Frost.

    Against orders, Weston tracks down Frost at a nearby township using a CIA database from an Internet cafe. His use of the CIA database alerts the CIA situation room.

    Frost is acquiring fake documents from an old friend. Vargas' men attack the shanty house but Frost manages to escape on the rooftops although the forger and his family are all killed. Weston manages to catch up and rescues Frost. Suddenly they are t-boned by another vehicle. They enter an abandoned building and Frost and Weston manage to kill three pursuers. Weston discovers they are working for the CIA, Frost is wounded. They break into a drugstore to bandage up and discuss the situation.

    Landing in their private jet and en route to the new safe house, Linklater alerts Barlow that she thinks Weston has gone rogue. When Linklater mentions a microchip with confidential information about various intelligence agencies possibly in Frost's possession, Barlow shoots her and leaves her by the roadside, revealing that all is not as it appeared.

    Weston takes Frost to another remote safe house occupied by another housekeeper as planned initially. Once Frost is handcuffed in one of the rooms, the housekeeper attacks Weston, but Weston overpowers and kills him after a bloody fight throughout the house. Badly beaten and suffering a heavy stab wound to his side, Weston manages to free Frost, but then collapses, only to wake up in a bed, with Barlow and Vargas at his bedside and Frost gone.

    Barlow interrogates Weston about the leaked files, revealing to him that the files were put together by Israel Mossad to blackmail western intelligence, he admits he is incriminated. Frost suddenly returns and ambushes the safe house and kills Vargas, but is shot by Barlow. Weston grabs a gun and kills Barlow. Frost collapses and as he is dying from the gunshot wound, hands the incriminating chip over to Weston.

    After recovering in hospital, Weston is debriefed by CIA Director Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard), who asks about the leaked files. Weston denies all knowledge of the files, but on his departure, wikileaks the file from his blackberry, exposing the corruption at the CIA, MI6 and other agencies.

    In the final scene, Ana is sitting at a café in Paris, where Weston sends her a note. Ana looks up to see Weston across the street.

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