It seems like it’s almost a rite of passage for new leading men to have to do a film opposite Denzel Washington. From Ethan Hawke in Training Day to Clive Owen in Inside Man to Chris Pine in Unstoppable – if you’re the new guy with your name headlining the marquee, your journey will at some point include a stop at Washington station.

Such is the case for Ryan Reynolds in the espionage action thriller, Safe House.

Below you’ll find an official synopsis for Safe House, which features Washington and Reynolds as two spies on the run:

For the past year, Matt Weston (Reynolds) has been frustrated by his inactive, backwater post in Cape Town.  A CIA “housekeeper” who aspires to be a full-fledged agent, the loyal company man has been waiting for an opportunity to prove himself.  When the first and only occupant he’s had proves to be the most dangerous man he’s ever met, Weston readies for duty.

Tobin Frost (Washington) has eluded capture for almost a decade.  One of the best ops men that the CIA’s known, the ex-intelligence officer has given up assets and sold military intel to anyone with cash since he turned.  From trading secrets to North Korea to aiding splinter cells, the damage he’s done to the U.S. is immeasurable.  And he’s now back on the reservation with a secret.

As soon as Frost is brought in for debriefing, mercenaries come and tear apart Weston’s safe house.  Barely escaping, the unlikely partners must discover if their attackers have been sent by terrorists or someone on the inside who will kill anyone standing in the way.  Now it’s up to Weston to figure out who he can trust before they’re both eliminated from the game.

Now that you know that we’re in for a mix of tense action, twisted espionage and plenty of psychodrama, see how well (or not) it all comes together in the trailer for Safe House:

Swedish director Daniel Espinosa (don’t let the name throw you) was responsible for the relatively well-received crime drama Snabba Cash (“Easy Money”) and here it looks like his style is somewhat in line with that of frequent Denzel collaborator Tony Scott (Man on Fire, Unstoppable, Deja Vu). On the other hand the script writer, David Guggenheim, is still relatively untested: his resume boasts just Safe House and the upcoming Nic Cage thriller Medallion as his only film writing credits.  So take that how you will.

Still, the combination of Reynolds and Washington is a strong one, and is particularly suited to a movie that will mix action and witty banter. Not to mention, both actors can be pretty intense when it’s called for, so seeing these two leading men trade sparks should be a pretty good time. The supporting cast is also strong, as it includes Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga, Robert Patrick, Liam Cunningham and The Killing star, Joel Kinnaman.

Below you’ll find a couple of images and a one-sheet for Safe House. As is typical for a Denzel Washington film, the poster features the man himself front and center.

Safe House will be in theaters on February 10, 2012.

 Source: Universal Pictures