Safe Harbor 2: Safer Harbor June 22, 2011Posted by H$ in 13-16, H$, safe harbor 2: safer harbor.
Did you know that there are actually TWO Lifetime movies named Safe Harbor? And that I have watched them both? I actually asked Rusty if he’d reviewed Safe Harbor before because it sounded familiar. If you’d like to read the first Safe Harbor review and find out how volunteering will get you murdered by street gangs, it’s right here. For the sake of simplicity, I will be referring to the movie below as “Safe Harbor 2: Safer Harbor”.
So. Safe Harbor 2: Safer Harbor is the story of Carly Segan, a tough lady cop who of course has a heart of boring, boring gold. Just once, I’d love to see a TV movie where the lady cop is a lying scumbag that sells crack to high schoolers. The movie kicks off with her and her walrus-faced partner Joe busting into a beat-up looking house to take down a wanted man. There’s some Three Stooge antics where Tracey ineffectively windmills at the brick shithouse of a fugitive and gets dunked in a bathtub, but she gets the upper-hand in the end. The big fella goes to jail, and Tracey gives his family a manilla envelope full of her own money so they can take a bus home. Joe good-naturedly ribs her for being softhearted, and then asks her over to dinner with the caveat that his sister would try to set her up with his cousin. “The landscaper?” she asks. “Landscaper?” he spits. “HE MOWS LAWNS.” Um, isn’t that kind of a landscaping thing, and maybe not deserving of that level of sheer contempt? She says she’s OK being single and she can take care of herself. He replies (and I swear to God this is in the movie): “When God created partners, he created them for one reason: to watch each other’s backs.” Adam and Eve, Jesus and Paul, Starsky and Hutch. Joe isn’t good for much, but he definitely brings it in the arena of non sequiters.
Things get crazy when someone finds a dead body next to Safe Harbor: a mansion that, inexplicably, is also a foster home. Someone painted a spooky devil face on the wall next to the body, so it’s obviously Satanists. There’s a gross conversation where they try to determine whether the woman was raped or otherwise assaulted, but decide that they can’t find anything conclusive because the leaves on top of her would “absorb the evidence”. Gross. But a valuable lesson to all of your aspiring defilers of life: you can do anything you want to anyone, as long as you kill them and cover them with leaves immediately afterward. They approach the staff of the home and ask to see their records on the kids to look for suspicious characters. The foster care staff says no, so they shrug and leave. So these cops don’t know how warrants work, and also think that leaves remove DNA evidence from bodies. Did anyone train these assholes? It’s a miracle that Joe manages to holster his gun without shooting himself in the fucking leg every morning.
I’ll give Casey a pass, since she’s a bit distracted. Going to Safe Harbor is difficult for her because she actually stayed there as a wayward youth, and has a close relationship with Olivia, the owner. Casey’s dad beat her mom to death in front of her and then went to jail forever, so she was basically orphaned and traumatized in one go. Safe Harbor provided a…hey, wait a minute.
I see what you did there, movie.
Anyway, Casey enjoys the chance to reconnect to Olivia, and they catch up on old times. Olivia is also thrilled to reintroduce Casey to her son Sam, who is a baller investment banker and a total creep. Through a series of contrived events, Casey and Joe end up working security for a fancy party at the mansion, which allows her and Sam plenty of time to catch up. Their flirtation is mercifully cut short when yet another lady is found murdered outside. This party is so exclusive, people are DYING to get in!
No Tales from the Crypt fans out there? Really? Fine, whatever.
After the party, Casey decides to do what she should have done all along and starts Googling Satan. Instead of a plethora of disturbing pornography, she finds that the spookyboo devil face is actually the invention of a local artist who applied to the Safe Harbor art fund for a grant (?!). They go and yell at him for drawing spooky faces for a while, until they come to the very obvious conclusion that someone ripped this demon lovin’ sonofagun off. This places the blame square on Julia, an assistant administrator at Safe Harbor who handles the grant applications. Also pertinent: she accidentally hired a child molester, protected him for two months, and then fired him when Olivia found out. Some looking into Julia’s past reveals that she has a bit of a sordid history, including some substance abuse issues and working as a stripper. As Joe puts it: “She ain’t daisy fresh.” Which is ironic, as Daisy Fresh would be a great name for a stripper. Casey’s female intuition tells her that there’s more to this stripper/molester superteam then meets the eye, and the investigation begins.
In the meantime, Casey and Sam manage to go on a date. Casey is late, so she and Sam miss their dinner reservation. He escorts her to a hot dog cart, which I guess the movie thinks is cute but I think would gross out anyone who has ever seen a hot dog cart vendor in action. Also, he’s supposed to be super-rich, so why not just go to another restaurant? It’s fishy. Casey, you don’t need no scrubs, girl. Also fishy is Sam’s willingness to let her walk home alone to her apartment through the shady hot-dog vendor district. Predictably, the murderer assaults her, and begins to choke her to death. Then he, uh…just stops doing that, and runs away. Casey claims it’s because the murderer (who is coincidentally built just like Sam) yelled and scared him off. Hands up, who thinks that Sam is the murderer?
If you didn’t raise your hand, get ready for the PLOT TWIST OF A LIFE TIME. Also, you are dumb.
Olivia is found dead next to a spookyboo face on the foster home’s big-ass veranda. This leads to Sam having a big baby breakdown and scoring some creepy Lifetime sex from Casey. After the booty call, Casey re-pants herself in time to help question Julia and learn that the majority of the home’s residents eventually fell into lives of crime and poverty. The child molester was blackmailing Olivia to keep this information a secret. Casey doesn’t cotton to this bullshit, and tracks him down in his trashy Chinatown apartment and nails his ass to the wall. Actually, to be more specific, she shoots his ass. The movie has another half an hour to go, but it still thinks that it has tricked us into thinking that she got the killer. Whatever, movie. We aren’t idiots, except for the people who raised their hands a paragraph ago.
Casey’s boss is not cool with the fact that she shot some random dude without a warrant or cause, so she’s put on “administrative duty”. This gets her back to what she does best: hitting the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on the Google homepage until it provides her with justification to go rough somebody up. This time, it turns up the fact that her new hubby Sam is actually broke. A secret meeting with Julia confirms this, along with the fact that shortly before she was killed Olivia re-wrote her will to ensure that Safe Harbor would inherit her millions of dollars. Nice of her, but we can see why her primary next-of-kin was not 100% into this plan. Tracy goes and confronts Sam with her Google Search Results. We learn that the molester was never blackmailing his mom, it was just a ruse he concocted to get her off of his trail until he could get rid of the revised will and kill Olivia. She also drops the bombshell that she knows he’s been murdering the hell out of ladies for years, and somehow never got caught. Maybe someone taught him that leaf trick!
He dares her to kill him, she says “fuck you”, he says “no, you”, and then he goes to jail. In the last shot of the film, she’s sitting and reading to some kids at Safe Harbor. Fine by me, let’s see some credits already.
This movie was confusing and boring. I have no idea if the movie did a better job of explaining anything that I described above, because it completely failed to hold my attention despite it’s murderous wackiness. I got some laughs from the general ineptitude of the police and Joe’s nonsensical ramblings, but that’s all.
Star Power: 2
Eh. Casey was played by Carol Seaver from Growing Pains. Who the hell cares about Growing Pains still? Joe was played by somebody whose IMDB bio advises us to “catch him in the upcoming thriller White Noise, staring Michael Keaton”. I don’t know what’s sadder: the fact nobody cares enough about his IMDB page to update it, or the idea of living in a world where that phrase would be met with anything but derision.
Pretty ovaries-to-the-wall here. You got your tough lady cops, you got your murdered ladies, you got your evil boyfriends. Minor point deduction for the fact that Tracy’s women’s intuition was flat out wrong about 5 or 6 times during the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply enjoyed watching her beat on people who did not deserve it, but that’s usually a role reserved for the inept male sidekick in these kinds of films.
So that’s a 15 for Safe Harbor 2: Safer Harbor. It’s a full 8 points lower then the other Safe Harbor film. I guess sequels rarely eclipse originals. God, Hulu has been a ghost town for good Lifetime stuff lately. How about some crazy murdery incest or something? I mean, damn.