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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Brave One (2007)

After she and her fiancee (Naveen Andrews) are brutally attacked in Central Park by three thugs resulting in her boyfriend's death, a radio talk show host (Jodie Foster) suffers a breakdown and, unable to sleep, goes through the night as sort of an avenging angel randomly killing criminals. While the plot may sound like a typical vigilante thriller, this is no gender reversed DEATH WISH. The distasteful Charles Bronson vigilante thriller (and its many sequels) served up a one dimensional portrait of one man, without remorse, taking the law into his own hands. Foster's Erica is much more complex. She's disgusted by what she's doing but she has literally been destroyed and this new creature she has become is the only way she is able to survive, to cope. She's eating herself up inside to the point that she doesn't care if she gets caught and, indeed, in one scene attempts to give herself up. Directed by Neil Jordan (THE CRYING GAME), the film's first 20 minutes of awkward exposition prepare you to expect the worst but then the film finds its legs and it becomes a compelling journey into the urban landscape and the grip of fear hovering over it. With Terrence Howard as the police detective who becomes Foster's conscience, Mary Steenburgen and Jane Adams.

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