Movie Review 2008 #30: The Brave One

A thriller about a woman who turns from meek to vigilante in the wake of a brutal attack that claims the life of her fiance. Starring Jodie Foster.

Foster plays Erica Bain, a popular host on a public radio program in NYC. She has a loving fiance (Naveen Andrews) who works as a medical professional. Life is good.
Her idyllic life is shattered during a brutal attack in Central Park by a trio of men. Her fiance is killed, her dog is lost and she is left for dead. When she finally recovers herself from the attack, finding little help from the police, she buys an unregistered handgun.
And when she finds call to use it on a armed robber in a bodega a few days later, she begins a new career, one of an avenging vigilante…
Aside from the transformation from meek victim to firearm wielding vigilante, the movie is a average thriller with a good performance from Foster. The cinematography is good, and the performances from the supporting cast are decent.
The movie does fall short in a couple of areas for me. The initial transformation of the character is a bit hard to take. We get no sense whatsoever that she would be interested in an illegal handgun and suddenly, soon, she owns one to protect herself. (A deleted scene from the movie makes the transition in the wake of her injury a little easier, but its cheating to include that in the narrative of the movie). Also problematic is one of the other deaths in the movie that Erica undertakes, being a very different tone, method, reason and motivation than the others.
And, finally, the ending, when the detective pursuing her (Terrence Howard) acts in an extremely unprofessional and atypical manner that helps gives the movie a Hollywood-esque ending. However, in the process, I think the ending to an extent breaks the character of Detective Mercer and makes things far too pat for Erica.
Overall, it was a disappointment.

One thought on “Movie Review 2008 #30: The Brave One”

  1. Jodi Foster seems to take a lot of roles that involve her being really stressed out… at the same time she usually a person who goes against the advise of everyone around her until the end of the movie, when everyone figures out she’s right. just an observation.

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