The Brave One

The Brave One

Movie Review by David Gulick

Vigilante films are starting to become a lot more frequent these days. Most people would say the genre of the vigilante films started with Death Wish in 1974. Twenty-six years later a surprise independent cult hit called The Boondock Saints took the idea of vigilantism in movies to a whole new level. Now today we have the two newest vigilante films in Death Sentence and The Brave One. Death Sentence is a mellow, dark, and intense movie, but it doesn’t even come close to being as good as this film. The Brave One easily beats out Death Sentence.

The movie is about a female talk show radio host named Erica Bain(Jodie Foster). She lives in an apartment with her boyfriend David(Naveen Andrews). They are living a nice and happy life, planning on getting married soon when all of a sudden a stroll through the park with their dog turns deadly when they are jumped by three thugs. Both Erica and David are beaten so badly that David is beaten to death, while Erica suffers critical injuries. Now traumatized Erica is so afraid she can’t even leave her apartment. Eventually she gains courage and goes out to buy a gun. Now she will roam the streets hoping she can get revenge on the three thugs who ruined her life.

The Brave One is very thought provoking not only in just telling the story of the film, but also in displaying a character with so much depth. Jodie Foster is so appealing as the middle aged Erica Bain, that she really makes you believe what the character is feeling. The emotional aspects of the film are just as good as the minor action sequences and balance out each other near to perfection.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this film was the character development of Erica Bain. Foster as Erica Bain is what makes this movie stand out from other vigilante movies. Here you have this forty something year old radio show host that no one would even expect to be a vigilante. The character development of Erica Bain is very intense with her leaning back and forth between what she thinks is right and wrong. She is not only traumatized by what happened to her, but also by the fact that she had become a “stranger”.

Terrance Howard adds a lot to this movie as Detective Mercer, but that is really all he does. He does a great job of keeping the spotlight on Foster and not stealing the whole movie for himself. Mercer is an interesting character that is just right for Howard. He and Foster have great chemistry in this film making you feel like Mercer and Bain really do have a genuine close friendship.

I like that this movie did not resort to being a low class action film. If it had been like that it would have been nothing more than a Death Wish rip off. It is a very emotional drama that sucks you in if you are really paying attention. The dialogue in this film is smart and not filled with a bunch of dribble. All of the dialogue goes towards building the movie rather than just being filler. Everyone in this movie did a great job delivering these lines that best fit their character.

The ending of this film has become one of my favorites. I really can’t think of a better ending than the one they had. It made a lot of sense and was clever. The music at the end is great and really helps you set the ending into your mind. I liked this film because it could have been very mediocre, but instead it touched on a few different topics emotionally rather than just being the normal revenge film.

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