In the end The Brave One is a rather silly wannabe action movie, wherein the talents of people who should know better are terribly and tragically wasted.
What in the world is going on with Jodi Foster? Does she feel like a victim of life? Since becoming a single mother her movies have taken a decidedly violent turn based in large part on being a victim; witness Panic Room (2002), Flightplan (2005). After these films is was beginning to look like Foster was incapable of portraying anyone other than a single mother protecting a helpless child from the bad men with big guns and explosives.
But now Foster has followed her hyper-emotional theatrical arc to its predictable conclusion; that is from victim-the Accused (1988), The Silence of The Lambs (1991), to protector to avenging angel, in her newest ultra-violent turn The Brave One (2007). And the results are not at all petty. In The Brave One Foster portrays an avenging angel with a broken wing and scared soul, out to rid New York City, the self-proclaimed "safest big city in the world," of thugs with an illegally obtained silver 9mm.
Directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) The Brave One starts out hopeful, of course. An aging Foster portrays Erica Bain a popular New York City talk show host, who is engaged to Dr. David Kirmani (Naveen Andrews - Lost, Grindhouse). The two are in love and blissfully walking through Central Park at dusk when they are assaulted and battered by a gang of three Hispanic thugs who beat David to death, and Erica to near death, all the while recording the episode on a cell phone.
Erica recovers physically, but of course the incident leaves deep and lasting mental scares that affect every aspect of her life. She becomes scared of her own shadow and seeks a firearm, to protect herself. After she gets the gun, Erica happens upon one circumstance after another which occasion her to use her newly acquired firearm vigilante style, slaying the evil-doers that haunt the dark crags in the city.
Erica is helped to some degree by a gentile New York City police officer, one Detective Mercer, portray by Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow, Lackawanna Blues, Crash).
I like Jodie Foster, but I do not like this movie, there are just too many echoes of movies that have come before it to be enjoyable. There is a been-there-done-that feel to The Brave One that is undeniable; think Death Wish(s).
Foster does a good job as the woman scorned and grieving; there are a plentitude of close-ups on Fosters face that tell a convincing tale of the broken hearted. But the rest of the movie was far too unbelievable to be taken seriously. And the ending; please!
The Brave One isn't a brave movie; it relies too heavily on tales already told better to tell it tale of grief, rebirth, vengeance, and citizen justice at the end of a silver barrel. In the end The Brave One is a rather silly wannabe action movie, wherein the talents of people who should know better are terribly and tragically wasted.
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age
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