The Brave One (2007)

Director:  Neil Jordan
Cast:  Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews
Plot:  A woman struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission for revenge. 

Genre:  Crime / Drama / Thriller
Awards:  Nom. for 1 Golden Globe - Best Actress (Drama)
Runtime:  119min
Rating:  M18 for strong violence, language and some sexuality.


Neil Jordan's The Brave One is an urban thriller that offers viewers slightly more than a generic, cliche-ridden offering.  Its narrative style doesn't stumble with typicality.  In fact, it's as close as you can get to something original in recent months, which have been breeding pointless derivative fares such as Shoot 'Em Up and Resident Evil: Extinction.  The Brave One has a strong though familiar theme of revenge and morality put in perspective of a woman scarred by a brutal incident.

Jodie Foster stars as the aforementioned woman, producing a substantial performance that reminds us that she's still at the top of her game after almost four decades in acting.  Her perplexed facial expression; one that's ruled by fear, and later fueled by anger, epitomizes her character who faces morality questions as a result of killing for the betterment of the society.  The photography and mood is unsettling, while the music bites into suspenseful sequences. It works well as a thriller, but a drawback is the pacing of the film, which is a tad too slow (ultimately contributing to its two hours runtime).

Although the pacing sometimes ruin the film's overall quality (this is essentially a-tight-ninety-minutes type of movie), The Brave One provides an unexpected climax that might just impress certain viewers (but not the critical ones).  This is neither a top-notch thriller nor is it a B-grade flick; it falls in a realm that most will find it hard to be pleased but are still willing to recognize its quality as a fresh Hollywood produce.  One thing's evident though, it's a cross between escapist entertainment and social commentary.  Alas, it succeeds in neither.


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