Brave One, The

October 16th, 2007 by exolstice

Brave One

Revenge movies usually tread a fine line between serious drama and self-parody. This movie doesn’t just cross that line, it leaps over it like an Olympic long-distance jumper. Whoever coined the expression “ridicule kills” must have been thinking about this film.

Basically, Jodie Foster’s character is a radio personality who is happily engaged to a doctor. Everything seems perfect in her life, until one night on a walk through the park. Now I’m not from New York, but taking a walk through a park at night doesn’t sound like a great idea to me, especially if it’s a poorly lit park. Of course, revenge movies being what they are, they get brutally attacked by a gang of ruffians, the fiancĂ© dies, and Jodie Foster is left for dead.

It’s after this point that the movie takes a left turn off a cliff. First we’re treated to a lovemaking scene inter cut with bloody operating room shots. We’re supposed to believe, I guess, that they’re similar experiences or that the later elicits memories of the former. Whatever the point was, it didn’t work for me.

Once she’s out of the hospital, we’re shown that she’s now scared of leaving her apartment building through out of focus over exposed shots with skewed camera angles. Fortunately, her fears don’t last long as she soon buys a gun, which we all know would make anyone feel better. From then on, the movie becomes some messy amalgam of the movies Talk Radio and The Punisher.

Which wouldn’t be so bad if the writing wasn’t so terrible. Less than a week after leaving the hospital, she’s already in the middle of a murder at a convenience store. She shoots the murderer, no witnesses. The next day she’s on the subway, where two charicactures of black gang members harass and steal from passengers. Once everyone is off the train, they harass her and she shoots them both dead. Again no witnesses, no security cameras. It seems like trouble finds her every ten minutes in this movie. I guess that’s New York for you?

The awful story is compounded by even more awful dialog. You want melodramatic bullshit advice? How about: “There are many ways to die. Finding a way to live, that’s the hard part.” It’s the type of dialog that has audiences throwing up in their popcorn bags. A prominent mobster she’s about to kill asks: “Are you the police?” to which she answers: “You wish!” Right before hitting him in the face with a crowbar and sending him flying off the top floor of a parking garage. Brilliant.

Now I’d like to be able to tell you that the ending brings the whole mess together into something worthwhile, but I’d be lying. I left twenty minutes before the end. Being able to predict everything before it happens doesn’t make for a very entertaining watch. You see, right before killing the mobster she’s talking to the head investigator on the “vigilante case” on her cellphone. She hangs up just as the bell rings to announce the parking garage elevator. If you can’t guess what happens next you’ll probably enjoy this movie, otherwise stay the hell away from it.

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