Movie Reviews: The Brave One




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     Warner Bros.
     A woman struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission for revenge.
     Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen, Zoe Kravitz
Bottom Line:

Samantha Ofole-Prince

There isn’t a story in Hollywood that hasn’t been told before, but if it’s a story with a new slant then it’s always a welcome tale and “The Brave One” is just that. Taking its roots from the ‘70s flick “Death Wish” which stared Charles Bronson as a gun toting vigilante this flick stars Jodie Foster as Erica Bain a woman with a grudge desperate to protect herself after losing her fiancé in a vicious attack in a New York park.

Bain is a forty-something New York City talk show radio personality who is also planning a wedding to surgeon David Kirmani (Andrews). She appears to have an idyllic life, but everything she knows and loves is ripped from her one night when she and David are ambushed in an attack that leaves him dead and her in a coma. Once she regains consciousness and recovers from her sustained injuries, she finds she is an emotional mess. Afraid of every dark corner and alley she desperately tries to find the courage to overcome her fear but when it becomes too much to bear she makes a fateful decision to arm herself against eminent danger by buying an illegal gun. The first time she kills someone its kill or be killed but soon Bain is transformed into an avenging killer who roams New York at night taking justice into her own hands.

“Braves Ones” is a remarkable and suspenseful thriller which has all the hallmarks of a vigilante action genre film with one important distinction: the vigilante is a woman. It’s a dark story about a woman who suffers a terrible tragedy but finds the courage to overcome her fear and although her actions are illegal and morally questionable, it’s also both horrifying and fascinating at the same time. “We all have these ideas that there are lines that we would never cross and people we could never be,” says Foster who also serves as executive producer. “But until you are forced into a situation that challenges you, you don’t know who you would be.”

What also makes this flick so brilliant is that you are reminded of how talented an actress two-time Academy Award winning actress Foster is and the non sexual screen chemistry between her and NYPD Detective Mercer (Howard), a fan of her radio show is incredible. With a fascination for each other it is essentially a series of cat-and-mouse games between the pair as Bain becomes a folk hero as the New York Vigilante and Mercer who is after the killer starts to suspect she just might be the vigilante. Howard is solid and steady and brings an enormously strong emotional core to his character. “The wonderful thing about Terence in this role is that he has such a dept of sensitivity and emotion and yet he is playing this hard-edged detective who’s seen it all,” says Foster.

Directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) this movie has an eerie kind of fascination and although it’s a billed as a revenge flick it's an uncommon one and is more about the psychology of revenge and whether a person who takes a stance as a vigilante has crossed over a certain moralistic line.



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