The Brave OneClosed Captioning
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“Why don’t they stop me?” Erica Bain wonders. Bain, a popular radio host, watched her fiancé die and nearly lost her own life in a vicious, random attack. Now she is a stranger to herself, an armed wanderer in the urban night, ridding New York of the thugs she sees at every turn. And no one, it seems, can stop her. Two-time Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster as Erica and Academy Award® nominee Terrence Howard as a dogged cop with his own psychic wounds to heal join director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) and producers Joel Silver (The Matrix trilogy) for this jolting, high-tension thriller that has a lot on its mind. And a gun in its hand.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 183
- Fresh: 78
- Rotten: 105
- Average Rating: 5.5/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: The fire goes out long before the film ends.
Rotten: Foster does her best with a flawed story whose ending rings even less true than the rest of it.
Fresh: Worth watching for Foster's fiercely arresting performance.
Fresh: Clever, calculated, 'responsible' filmmaking.
Deeper than it loox...
Let's get one thing straight. This is no simple "shoot 'em up." In fact, you could make the argument (good luck, but you might) that the violence is secondary to the real story, which is the way we double-victimize the victims in our society. Erica, played exceptionally by Jodie Foster, is a woman who has had her world turned upside down by a random violent act. As is so often the case in our society, her wounds heal, and as they do, she tries to re-integrate herself into a society that has forgotten her ordeal. Hey, no more visible scars - she must be fine, right? Not so much. I recommend this film as a commentary on not only violence, which is certainly strong, but on the way we ignore victims, patting them on the back for "being tough", and then turning back to our worlds without another thought. A warning: if you have been through a mugging or rape, be careful. The scenes depicting the violence towards Erica are graphic and emotional. In fact, the only thing that holds me back from giving this movie 5 stars is the violence, which could have been scaled back a bit more and still conveyed the horror of the scene. Maybe that is another commentary on our society. But given the story and deeper message, I still highly recommend this film.
Could Have Been Great
I'm glad I didn't pay the money it would've taken to see this in theaters. The story idea has a ton of promise, but the movie disappointed me overall, and the biggest problem is the writing (although the direction is questionable in spots, where Neil Jordan makes melodrama out of genuinely dramatic moments, and hits his viewers over the head with a Sarah McClaughlin-heavy score). From the opening, we don't really see Erica Bane and her fiancee as real people, just as a stereotypically love-happy couple (which is supposed to make us feel their tragedy all the more), and some of their moments together play awkwardly. Then come the easy coincidences: that someone just happens to be handy to sell Jodie Foster an illegal gun; that the Terrence Howard character would recognize and seek out Jodie Foster at a press conference (he had previously seen her months before in the hospital, when she was completely unrecognizable); and so on. The decision to weave in images of her dead fiancee, and to have Jodie Foster say things like "You left a hole in me" are especially regrettable, as if the director couldn't trust that we would know where her pain is coming from without being told, repeatedly, in a very cliched and heavy-handed manner. The ending leaves questions too--are the police supposed to believe that a gang of thieves committed the "vigilante" murders and didn't take any money from the victims? Are we supposed to believe that the NYPD doesn't have a forensic unit that would've easily found Jodie Foster's hair all over each of her crime scenes (or her blood from the scene where she's cut while killing someone)? It's too bad: I wanted to like this movie, but for more intelligent--and powerful--treatments of violence and victimhood, I'd recommend you go elsewhere.
There's so many things going wrong with this film, that the morals are put aside until later in the review. Okay, Foster's acting, while good, is overacting all the way. I get sick of her groany/sobby voice, and her violently yelling vengeful voice. It's just irritating and you can tell she's giving it all. Howard's performance is loose. The guy who was in The Perfect Holiday garners no respect from me in this "serious" performance. Just cheeze all the way. Second, the story is very boring compared to all the other revenge thrillers out there (i.e. Death Wish and Kill Bill) and this one's stands in the back of the line of good films of the genre. Foster's character just all of a sudden shifts into this vendetta-woman, who has no remorse for her actions and just keeps shooting away -- and yes, in the last half, this becomes a shoot-em-up movie! Lastly, the screenplay and directing are weak. The director tries to make this gritty atmosphere, but all it is is dark and fuzz, in a city that has nothing but lowlives and thugs -- they make New York look like the Charles Bronson days. The screenplay's morals are thinner than the paper it was typed on, and by the 45 minute mark, it just goes hipocritical all the way. The dialogue is another flaw this trash. "I want my dog back!" Good lord, that's a thrilling piece. Try a little harder and you may get a Razzie. Overall, this is a terrible film. Everything fails under the pretense that these people are making an Oscar-looking Death Wish, with one-demensional characters, a terrible screenplay with a terrible director, and an idiotic premise that is as washedup as Terrance Howard. Do not buy/rent.
- Genre: Thriller
- Released: 2007
- © 2007 VILLAGE ROADSHOW FILMS (BVI) LIMITED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING. SUBJECT TO APPLICABLE LAWS.