Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Brave One: A Four-Sentence Movie Review

At the beginning of The Brave One, we see Jodie Foster's character walking around New York City with a microphone and digital recorder, recording sounds of civilization for her radio show, which made me wonder if we were about to see what might happen if Ira Glass ever lost his mind and decided to go on a vigilante killing spree. That's not quite what happens, but having a female protagonist (one whose petite size Neil Jordan emphasizes throughout the film) still provides a bit of a twist on the Charles Bronson-esque revenge movie genre.

Unfortunately, once that premise is established - despite frequent attempts to explore the psychological ramifications of what's happened to Foster's character and how she decides to deal with it - this turns out to be a rather conventional, violent action movie that carries an almost superhero-ish sense of empowerment fantasy with it, which I didn't expect, given the talent in front of and behind the camera.

The most interesting aspect of the story is the relationship that develops between Foster and Terrence Howard's detective - with the vigilante who really wants to be caught (or maybe killed) because she doesn't know what she might do next, and the cop who not only questions whether or not he can bust someone he's become fond of but also might envy someone who gets to roll out some 9 MM justice on the scumbags of society - but it leads to an unbelievable, borderline ridiculous resolution that practically makes a joke of the entire movie.