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.
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?
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.