Safety Last! Reviews
"Safety" is gimmick done right, full of splendid imagery and physical comedy at its most well-orchestrated and precise. The still everyone relates to this movie is of Lloyd dangling from the giant clock hand, but there's also a few shots of two separate people tangled up in fishing net wire, grasping and struggling to find their way out, that's equally as representative of what a tough, knotty task it to this day is to marry real-life action anxiety with huge laughs of slapstick relief. "Safety Last!" utilizes nearly all aspects of cinema -- from every moment's careful framework to the bouncy, humble organ music -- and it's just about perfect.
All on YouTube right now! The Internet, you guys. Continues to amaze. (96/100)
This is my first Harold Lloyd. (Don't worry, I'll be reviewing my first W.C. Fields right after this.) I'm a big fan of truly classic comedy and how mcuh better can you get than Harold Lloyd. (Okay, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, etc. etc. etc.) Well, like I mentioned, this is my first Harold Lloyd and I'd like to establish right now that I really liked it. There's just some issues that I'd like to discuss.
First, the good. There's a lot of good here and I think that can be most summarized in the end. The end is what the movie is known for. The final third of the movie is him climbing the building and everything else in the movie is just fluff for him getting to that point. I mean, they need an explanation for why he's doing it and I guess that's okay. But you are watching this sequence (yes laughing, but...) just holding onto your seat. The big thing. There's no rear projection going on with this movie. Lloyd was infamous for not telling how he did this scene and I can't figure it out beyond the fact that the man took awful risks climbing this building. Sure, there may have been a net somewhere, but he really is that high up. How did he get a net up on every floor? I mean, he does some absolutely heart racing things. He almost falls a thousand times. You know those movies where the guy is teetering on the edge about to commit suicide? Top that level of nervousness by a thousand. But his confidence makes the entire thing funny. I mean, at one point, the man literally flies through the air between skyscrapers, swinging by a rope. It's absolutely insane.
I also have to commend the way that the movie ties itself together. The movie is seemingly very random. There are moments that come into play that you wonder "what does this have to do with the story whatsoever?"
...and then it does have something to do with it.
I mean, you could just write the movie backwards I suppose and I wouldn't put it past this movie to have done that, but I'm glad that most of the scenes have some justification. (I am reviewing this movie. I'm supposed to overthink this sh*t.) The most noticable part is the inclusion of the police officer subplot. I was wondering why it was so important to have the joke where Lloyd knocks over the wrong cop. It seemed like a stretch of the imagination to run into a boyhood friend who happens to be a cop in New York. But that storyline makes the end all possible.
Now my concerns. While I do commend most of the moments for tying into the end, there is a bit too much of randomness to the scenes. The movie is so madcap that it really is a collection of jokes all slammed together. There's not a very clean transition from one moment to the next. Rather, you are laughing, but not feeling like you are watching a movie. On top of that, some of those jokes are very "forced" jokes. These "look what I can do" moments that lead to a clear downfall. Now, I'm not going to say everything is predictable because there were a great deal of surprises that I got a good laugh at, but there are quite a few "why would you do that? You know you are going to mess up!" moments. (It's kind of like viral videos. The person gets really pissed off when he jumps off the roof into a bush and gets hurt. Viral videos, learn from Harold Lloyd. He at least staged all of his mishaps.)
Overall, this a fantastically funny movie with a few bumps in the middle of it. Remember, it's a 1923 silent film. They were inventing the genre. Think of it as the garage band before the movie gets overproduced. There's gonna be a few bumps, but you're happy to hear them in their original splendor.