The Brave One

"OK"

The Brave One Review


Violence is inherent. Brought on by fear, anger, despair or ignorance, it's a side of humanity we'd rather forget -- until it rips into our lives and forces us to change. It comes without warning and violates our way of life, our hope. And still, our culture is obsessed with it. Violence moves merchandise and sells movie tickets. Instead of exploring this dichotomy, The Brave One sensationalizes and embraces the violence that should drive its themes rather than its box office appeal.

The story is oddly familiar. Erica (Jodie Foster) and David (Naveen Andrews) are a young, engaged couple looking forward to their wedding. As the epitome of happiness, the two are a borderline self-parody right off the bat. Of course, the motiveless thugs who brutally beat them are every inch their thematic foils -- hard-drinking, foul-mouthed ingrates who revel in and even videotape the trashing. Three weeks later, Erica awakes in a hospital bed to find out that her fiancée is dead, and she fights her emotional losses by dealing out her own brand of justice. All she is missing is Batman's cape and cool gadgets.

While David Cronenberg explored the nature of violence and crafted a compelling thriller with 2005's A History of Violence, director Neil Jordon is incapable of capitalizing on any thematic material that is obvious enough to slap him in the face. Within the first 20 minutes, Jordon sets himself up with two contrasting archetypes and just after that juxtaposes the ER doctors working on the broken Erica and David with the couple making love. But don't read too much into these cinematic innuendoes, because they don't add up to anything. They are quickly traded for cinematic clichés such as skewed camera angles to represent Erika's fears and the crescendoing sound of following footsteps to point out her paranoia.

By the time Erika buys an unregistered handgun for her own peace of mind, any thoughts about actually exploring the catharsis of violence are thrown out the window. Apparently, buying a gun quickly cures any fears because Erika is no longer afraid to leave her apartment in the middle of the night to go down the street to the barred-windowed convenience store and pick up a midnight snack. There, as chance would have it, an angry man with a gun comes in, and she gets her first taste of vigilante violence. It's amazing how Erika can go a lifetime without encountering any violence and within a month, come across four or five random acts of it.

Instead of showing the affect of violence, Jordon fills the gaps between Erika's gun fire with a detective (Terrence Howard) that is hot on the trail of the vigilante. Paying no attention to the more obvious, albeit safer, theme of feminism, as the androgynous Foster kills man after man, the film talks about justice for five minutes while a radio talk show takes calls from listeners about the vigilante. But it's a half-hearted attempt when Erika is justified in the end. With all the thematic false starts and missed opportunity, The Brave One boils down to violence begets violence, and says it cures all the pain of loss.

You gotta be brave to cross the police line.



The Brave One

Facts and Figures

Run time: 122 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th September 2007

Box Office USA: $36.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $69.8M

Budget: $70M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Silver Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 78 Rotten: 105

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Neil Jordon

Producer: Susan Downey,

Starring: as Erica Bain, as Detective Mercer, as Detective Vitale, as David Kirmani, as Carol, Ene Oloja as Josai, Luis Da Silva Jr. as Lee, Blaze Foster as Cash, Rafael Sardina as Reed, as Nicole, Gordon MacDonald as Murrow, as Chloe, as Ethan, Laila Liliana Garro as Shauna Nelson, James Biberi as Detective Pitney, Brian Delate as Detective O'Connor, as Mortell, as Jackie, An Nguyen as Ida Combs, Ivo Velon as James, as Sandy Combs, Jesus Ruiz as Chief of Detectives

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.