Sunday, September 16, 2007

"The Brave One" review

The Brave One (2007)

Director:Neil Jordan
Writers: Roderick Taylor Bruce A. Taylor

Jodie Foster ... Erica Bain
Terrence Howard ... Detective Mercer
Nicky Katt ... Detective Vitale
Naveen Andrews ... David Kirmani
Mary Steenburgen... Carol
Ene Oloja ... Josai
Luis Da Silva Jr. ... Lee
Blaze Foster ... Cash
Rafael Sardina ... Reed

“The Brave One” is a B-revenge movie pretending to be an A-list moral drama. It tries to show the scars vigilante justice leaves on your soul. There are many award winning names that spring out from the credits to try to convince you that this is more than just a “Death Wish” rip-off. Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard and Neil Jordan all team up to try to make the revenge fantasy genre respectable. But then another name shows up in the credits and lets you know that you’re in solid mainstream entertainment hands. Producer Joel Silver can bankroll pretty much anything he wants and he wanted Jodie Foster to blast some punks in NYC. Oh sure, she gets to cry now and again but what’s important here is that we get to see her have her cathartic healing process by blowing large holes in some New York scum.

Girls with guns have a long and proud tradition in B-cinema. Who could forget Zoë Lund in “Ms .45”?Zoë also took the fight to the NYC bad guys by letting them know whose running things when they taste the business end of her .45. Jodie Foster follows in Zoë’s footsteps by brandishing a 9mm so she can take out the trash.

Jodie and her fiancé, (of course he is), are walking through the park one night, deeply in love, and about to be beaten to a pulp. Foster survives the assault but her true love dies horribly. NOOOOOOO!!! Foster won’t stand for it. She is reluctant at first to give in to her inner Zoë but then her bloodlust gets the best of her. A good cop, (Howard), is on the case of the vigilante and starts eyeing Foster as a possible suspect. Could she be the 9mm killer and will he be able to stop her? Not likely. Once Foster embarks down the path of violence, nothing can stop her descent into her own personal Hell. Why should she stop when it feels so good?!

“The Brave One” attempts to show how wanton acts of violence can tear away at your soul. Every night Jodie scours the city looking for new criminals to shoot. After each killing, Foster wrestles with the moral dilemma of randomly murdering scumbags. In the theater I was sitting in, the message that “violence will scar you” was lost in hoots and hollers of perverse joy every time Foster unloaded her gun into some lowlife’s body. Jodie seemed to be having fun each night even if she regretted doing it in the morning. The revenge fantasy audience loved it too.

“The Brave One” wants it both ways. It wants to give in to the pleasure of seeing some dirtbag get what’s coming to him but then it tries to slap you in the face by showing how torn up Foster is over her killing spree. The problem is that Foster’s cure for her murder blues is to go out again and send another punk to his grave. Jodie never gets tired of killing and we never get tired of seeing her take back the night.

I enjoyed “The Brave One”. I love girls with guns movies and seeing Jodie mow down some NYC scum is what good times are made of. Jodie Foster is a great actress and only someone of her acting ability could make this movie halfway respectable. But sooner or later the rules of the revenge fantasy genre will drag Jodie to the bloody payoff scenes the audience is expecting. She knows what has to be done. Crime doesn’t pay when you mess with a well armed Foster.

SCORE: 3 out of 4 Ms. 9mm's


* (asterisk) said...

Hmmm. It's gotta be worth a look, hasn't it?

Dr. Gore ( said...

Yeah, Jodie Foster's vengeful killing spree is worth checking out.