Struggling to recover emotionally from a brutal assault that killed her fiancé and left her in a coma, a radio personality begins a quest for vengeance against the perpetrators that leaves a... Read allStruggling to recover emotionally from a brutal assault that killed her fiancé and left her in a coma, a radio personality begins a quest for vengeance against the perpetrators that leaves a bloody trail across New York City.Struggling to recover emotionally from a brutal assault that killed her fiancé and left her in a coma, a radio personality begins a quest for vengeance against the perpetrators that leaves a bloody trail across New York City.
The Brave One was a "big" film in regards posters and cinema coverage in the UK but yet none of the marketing really told me much about it and seemed to concentrate on the big names involved rather than content. I'm sure there were trailers that did it well that I didn't see but to me the impression was of a film that didn't seem sure how to sell itself to the audience. It LOOKED liked it was just a modern version of Death Wish but the presence of Foster made me hope that it would be more not to mention the polished looks, big budget and Hollywood-feel. The film doesn't start in a way that would suggest that though as we are introduced to the "perfect" man in Foster's life, knowing that his sole function in the film is that he will die which he does at the hands of "Bad Men". After this we do get some tentative steps as Bain struggles with her fear and anger but, once she has her outlet the film doesn't look back.
The plot is straightforward all the way. The delivery suggests that it wants to come over as complex and deep but it is never anything of the sort and instead it is a surprisingly simplistic affair that is no better than Winner's original film. The motives of the characters are drawn in big blocks with no detail or finesse and, as a result, I was left uninterested and unconvinced by the characters never really believing them. It plods along with its black/white politics to a conclusion that is a morally-murky cop-out that was only memorable for how "have my cake and eat it" it all was. I shouldn't have been that surprised though as this was in keeping with the whole film.
Foster tries her best but there is nothing for her to work with of interest and the material doesn't offer her complexity to explore or development to exploit. Instead she focuses on "looking intense" most of the time, perhaps hoping that in itself this will suffice (it doesn't). Conversely Howard just does this weird "softly complex" thing that brings just as much depth (or as little rather) to his character as Foster does to hers. The support cast all do as required nobody stood out for reasons of performance but rather for their fame in other things (Lost's Andrews) or family (Lenny Kravitz's daughter Zoë).
The Brave One is all dressed up in its fancy clothes to look like a modern, thoughtful take on Death Wish. It even has big, award-winning stars at its helm to show that it is anything but sordid or simplistic. Problem is nobody passed this message to the writers and the material is as morally dubious as it is basic. Money has clearly been spent and the film LOOKS good but ultimately it goes nowhere, offers little and has morals that are hard to take and don't even trying to argue that it is a grey area of complexity, instead making it all black and white. Professional enough to fool some into thinking it is better than it is, but ultimately this is a basic and dodgy thriller that doesn't engage or thrill.
- bob the moo
- Nov 9, 2008