Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: The Brave One

This movie didn't make much of a splash and as I recall the reviews weren't very good. I'd say that somebody must have described it in a pitch meeting as "a female DEATH WISH", except for the fact that by 2007 most of the kid executives in Hollywood probably had never heard of DEATH WISH or Charles Bronson. There are a lot of similarities between the two films, though.

Jodie Foster plays a New York City radio personality who's mugged while walking home one night with her boyfriend, who is killed by the attackers. When she recovers from the vicious beating, she buys an unlicensed gun for protection and eventually, like Bronson's character in the earlier film, starts putting herself in situations where violent criminals will come to her so she can blow them away.

Terrence Howard plays a cop trying to catch the vigilante who captures New York's attention, while at the same time attempting to close in on a mobster. In the course of his investigations he meets Foster's character but has no idea she's really the killer he's looking for. An awkward friendship/not-quite-romance develops between them.

There are a couple of plot holes in this movie, one minor, one not so much, but the acting is good all around and it plays out well, generating some nice suspense along the way. And there's a late twist that took both Livia and me by surprise, which is always a good thing.

I enjoyed THE BRAVE ONE and think it's worth watching. It's a low-key movie for the most part, but it perked right along and kept us entertained for a couple of hours. 


Tom Johnson said...

There was also similarities to a Dirty Harry movie, but I don't recall which one. The writers borrowed from several previous films, though.

Jack Badelaire said...

Tom, I believe you're thinking of Sudden Impact, which featured Sandra Locke as a victim of a gang rape who then goes on to hunt and kill her assailants as Harry investigates the murders, while developing a kind of romantic bond with her.

I'll agree that The Brave One isn't overall a bad film. I think that, like the original Death Wish, it handles the psychology of vigilantism better than most Hollywood treatments of the same. But, ultimately, I think it parallel's Bronson's original a little too close to ever escape its shadow.

Tom Johnson said...

Thanks Jack, that's the one.

Jack Badelaire said...

I actually think Sudden Impact poses an interesting question: Ultimately (SPOILER ALERT) Callahan lets Locke's character go without "bringing her in" because he understands and sympathizes with the trauma she's suffered. But, one has to wonder...would he have done the same thing for Paul Kersey? In Magnum Force, we see how Callahan feels about police vigilantism taken too far...but on the other hand he's attacked and almost killed by the vigilantes, which kind of forces his hand.

Also, Locke's character is only specifically gunning for those people who attacked her - she's not taking to the streets "hunting" violent criminals in general. If she had, I wonder how Callahan would have dealt with the situation.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jodi really likes to play women who get attacked. Wonder what that's about.