AndyFerguson's Rating of The Brave One

Andy's Review of The Brave One

9 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
The Brave One

The Brave One(2007)

[center][font=Garamond][size=6]THE BRAVE ONE[/size][/font][/center]
[center]director: Neil Jordan[/center]
[center]R, 122 minutes, Warner Bros. [/center]
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[center]In a fall season already loaded with violence, vengeance, and anger, you'd think that there would be at least one or two to tackle these topics on a more serious note than films like [i]Death Sentence [/i]or [i]Shoot 'Em Up[/i]. Thankfully, seasoned director Neil Jordan has presented us with a film similar to these recent others, but only at the surface, called [i]The Brave One[/i]. In his quest to make a serious film about one's sudden tranformation into a violent figure after a devastating incident happens to someone close to them, Jordan first does a good thing by setting the cast in the right direction, with Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard in the lead roles. Another thing that a proven filmmaker like Jordan brings to this type of story is balance, and the knowledge that although there certainly will be a violent killing spree, to not put it on high entertainment display, but rather the psychological end of things must be focused on. There are not intense sequences of prolonged bloodbaths like the films mentioned before. Instead, [i]The Brave One [/i]takes us inside the head of the main character as she reluctantly, but inevitably, dissolves into another human being altogether. [/center]
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[center]It is already well known from the advertisements so I know I'm not giving anything away when I mention that, in the film, Foster's character loses her fiancee, and a lot of herself, in a brutal beating in New York City's Central Park. It is in the opening fifteen minutes or so of the film, the parts where we attempt to get to know her realtionship with her fiancee well, that the movie had me a little worried. I was greatly anticipating that Jordan would certainly be the one to bring a little logic to the whole revenge genre that seems to have revived itself here in 2007, but during the opening portions of this film I found it to be rushed, with hardly any time to actually care for these people before they become victim to something incredibly senseless. These opening minutes were so problematic that I even thought Jordan's directing was a little on the uneven side. I guess it's at the point when Foster is released from the hospital, or maybe when we are introduced to Terrence Howard's detective character that the movie really finds a way to capitalize fully on what it's trying to accomplish. Major kudos have to go to the two leads here, who take the two roles, which have an interesting relationship set up already, and make them very memorable. [/center]
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[center]The reason this movie works well is because Foster and Howard are so deep inside what they're doing, so involved, that they never give them or even the movie itself a chance to step outside the realm of a sense of reality. Jordan pulls himself together after a little stumble in the introductory minutes and manages to create a strong picture that we come to find is not so much about revenge, but one's realization that they are slowly becoming a shadow of their former self. The cinematography by Phillippe Rousselot, is slick and imaginative at times, and the music score, by Dario Marionelli, is solid and fits just right. The movie has a couple of mishaps, both in the beginning and in what seems to be a spruced-up finale for Hollywood purposes, but [i]The Brave One [/i]is a strong film nonetheless. [/center]