The Brave One (2007)

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THE BRAVE ONE  is better than you think it will be going in, even if it’s not nearly as good as it could/should have been. The short-form for this 2007 urban crime drama is that it’s a Female Death Wish.  Thing is that while star Jodie Foster is a much better actor than Charles Bronson and Neil Jordan is three times the director that Michael Winner was, this comes off not nearly as effective as its 1974 vigilante grandpa.

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I don’t anguish myself with the obligatory lib-critic knee jerk reaction, “Oh my God, we’re justifying revenge!”  When it comes to brute-pukes getting Glocked instead of sentence-suspended, I’ll live with the catharsis.  Wonder if some of the audience appeal for this crime sub-genre comes not just from the boogeyman of slavering blue-collar bloodlust, but maybe from the not-so-tidy item that—what is it?—a million? or just a mere eight-hundred and fifty thousand? fellow citizens have been, uh, murdered in the US since the mid 1960s?

Digital Fusion Image Library TIFF File

Anyway, the flaw in the film is that of most of its type: it just conveniently ignores some loopholes of logic in order to maintain momentum.  It’s worth a look because of the marvelous acting of the flawless Foster, and the attractive Terrence Howard: together they shine four of the most sensitive eyes in moviedom. They’re great, the film is so-so.

Reviews acknowledged the leading lady’s work, but passed on the story, and while it made $69,700,000 that couldn’t make a dent in the $70,000,000 cost. 122 minutes, with Naveen Andrews, Nicky Katt, Zoe Kravitz, Mary Steenburgen and Luis Da Silva.

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