The Brave One Reviews
The Brave One is essentially just what I had expected. It was basically a modern reimagining of the Charles Bronson hit Death Wish but with more focus on the drama of the character experiencing the vigilantism then on the notion of how beneficial it is to the world to have one person walking around shooting criminals. Although it's fairly predictable in that sense and is unlikely to appease to viewers critical of its eye-for-an-eye concept, viewers willing to sit back and witness a dramatisation of the idea which supports it in a fictional universe are likely to enjoy it and embrace its characters and its drama.
It's not the most convincing, because elements of it are clearly very fictional such as the way that Detective Sean Mercer betrays the law and risks his life in the process upon realising that Erica Bain is the person they've been hunting for, and the fact that a middle aged woman went so rogue under these circumstances and was able Yo get away with so much due to lack of police effort.
Plus, the message about making. A vigilant stand against criminals is an old one so you'd hope that Neil Jordan would find a new way to explore it, but The Brave One is openly predictable and doesn't maintain a constant pace until after it's climactic intro is over.
Plus, it seems as if The Brave One attempts to reach audiences by making a ploy for diversity, having a woman avenge the death of her black-British boyfriend while being friends with a sympathetic black male police officer. None of these are anything wrong with the film, it just looks like on surface level that they were characterised moreso to appeal to a wider audience than anything else. But then again, it is about time a woman stepped into a role like this. And that woman is Jodie Foster.
Two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster reminds us just why she is such a talented actress in The Brave One, because the entire story rests on her shoulders as the heroine, and she keeps it alive with her captivating and gritty performance. She eliminates the idea of gender specification because her performance is so emotionally powerful and dramatically charismatic that she grips all the movie scenes in the palm of her hand while she grasps her gun in the other. Jodie Foster truly is The Brave One, and her Golden Globe nomination is deserving recognition of that.
And her chemistry with co-star Terrence Howard is excellent because of how both characters know more than what they say and they really convey a sense of uneasiness between them as they're both figures on the opposite side of the law, and they both know it. There's a really strength brewing between the two of them. And Terrence Howard's performance in general is very strong as his line delivery is thoroughly convincing in its realism and dramatic strength without him having to work excessively to reach it. He has a natural talent which he proves in The Brave One.
And Neil Jordan's direction, while not his finest is still sufficiently strong in The Brave One because as my expectations were to see a modern recreation of Death Wish but with more focus on substance than action and that was what I got, I was thoroughly satisfied. The drama was very gripping and the action was powerful, very well shot and never over the top. It was all edited well and was an intense and almost frightening visual experience which has memorable imagery and strong meaning, even it it isn't as deep as it could have been and is been. It's screenplay was smart enough and it's narrative structure was strong and really it was all well balanced, so it was sufficiently entertaining.
So although it's not the most original idea for a story, The Brave One is a well acted and well crafted crime-thriller with grit and intensity.