The Brave One Reviews
Neil Jordan ought to be doing more challenging material than this overblown, overwrought thriller that has only obvious points to make about the moral swamp that is urban vigilantism.
You may hate yourself for yielding to the expertise of the manipulation, but the vicarious thrill of The Brave One is the sense of pulling your own trigger on pure evil and watching the bullet tear through.
The Brave One is oppressively plot-driven. All the mood is snuffed out. The filmmakers so want Erica's actions to make sense to us that the movie usually seems illogical despite itself.
Two terrific lead actors under the direction of the estimable Jordan aren't enough to overcome the proven axiom that although you can make a bad movie from a good script, you can't make a good one from a bad one.
What the screenwriters don't achieve in dialogue, director Jordan often delivers visually. He and his cinematographer employ a particularly powerful way to evoke Erica's resurfacing. It resembles a slow blink; it suggest a brain grappling to make sense.
Psychological suspense is what makes The Brave One spellbinding. The movie doesn't dine out on action scenes, but regards with great curiosity how these two people will end up.
The Brave One is Death Wish with a guilty conscience, and while it may be a bit of a hypocrite as vigilante thrillers go, the internal contradictions of the thing make for a very interesting picture.
Foster's pistol-packing turn as an avenging dark angel nearly sustains director Neil Jordan's grim vigilante drama through a string of implausibilities and occasionally trite psychological framing devices, with deft support from Terrence Howard.