Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality.
Directed By: Neil Jordan
Written By: Roderick Taylor and Bruce A. Taylor
Staring: Jodi Foster, Terence Howard, Nicky Katt, Naveen Andrews, and Mary Steenburgen
I’d say it was probably the fall that killed this guy… or it could be the crowbar embedded in his skull. I’d say it’s about 50-50. -Detective Vitale
A woman struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission for revenge.
Jodi Foster stars in The Brave One, a tale about a woman trying to overcome a brutal attack that led to the loss of her fiance. It’s a film that focus’s on the cruelty of random violence in the world, and maybe the need for personal retribution or an eye for an eye type deal. It becomes a movie about rooting for a scorned vigilante with a score to settle.
The Brave One was just difficult to relate to. The constant reference to the unmerciful attack on herself and her fiance began to lose it’s intensity after the third flashback. The initial attack was absolutely horrific to watch, and was done in a very authentic way, but part of it’s thrust was the shock and surprise of the moment. The actual attack was shot gritty and intensely, but the problem was there was no real chemistry betweenNaveen Andrews and Jodi Foster. The setup of their relationship and their closeness to that point was viable, but any real romantic connection between them was lost on me, and therefore the emotions attached to her pain seemed less authentic.
The build up to Foster’s eventual snap into reality carried on a bit too long. Her time spent grieving was understandable, but because of the lack of chemistry with Andrews it felt a bit affected, even though her performance seemed genuine. When she does finally slip into the role of vigilante, the complexity of her relationship with her Detective, played by Terence Howard, that evolves into something more was actually more tangible than her relationship with her fiance. Even though the story tries to intertwine too many different side stories that connect the two and lead to the eventual finale, their chemistry is the most compelling part of the movie.
The Brave One wasn’t a bad idea in concept, but it’s execution was all over the place, with relationships between character’s that didn’t mesh, pacing that was awkward for the character arc’s, and just a constant feeling of discomfort. It was often difficult to understand if the film was trying to be a suspense thriller or was actually trying to send a message across. It felt like it was trying to get to you emotionally and shock you, but it did neither. The whole thing just left me feeling lukewarm.
Final Thoughts? Nothing remarkable or special, and mostly just unnerving.