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  Publicity Stills of "The Brave One"
(Courtesy from GV)

Genre: Drama/Thriller
Director: Neil Jordan
Cast: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen
RunTime: 1 hr 59 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: NC-16 (Violence)
Official Website: http://thebraveone.warnerbros.com/

Opening Day: 11 October 2007


New York radio host Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) has a life that she loves and a fiancé she adores. All of it is taken from her when a brutal attack leaves Erica badly wounded and her fiancé dead. Unable to move past the tragedy, Erica begins prowling the city streets at night to track down the men she holds responsible. Her dark pursuit of justice catches the public's attention, and the city is riveted by her anonymous exploits. But with the NYPD desperate to find the culprit and a dogged police detective (Terrence Howard) hot on her trail, she must decide whether her quest for revenge is truly the right path, or if she is becoming the very thing she is trying to stop.

Movie Review:

Men should know better than to make women angry, especially if that woman in question is Jodie Foster. Haven’t you seen her ferociously protect her daughter from the robbers in David Fincher’s Panic Room (2002)? Haven’t you seen her viciously demand to know her daughter’s whereabouts in Robert Schwentke’s Flightplan (2005)? Yes, she is one angry woman you wouldn’t want to mess around with.

In her latest movie directed by Neil Jordan (The End of the Affair, Breakfast on Pluto), Foster gets really angry when she and her fiancé (Naveen Andrews, TV’s Lost, Planet Terror) gets brutally attacked by street thugs. The poor man dies, while she takes things into her own hands, going around New York City to set wrong things right, with a single gun in her sling bag. Bad guys watch out!

Fans of Jordan’s films will realize that this is his most commercial work yet. After all, he is the director behind the controversially shocking The Crying Game (1992) and the atmospheric reflective Interview with the Vampire (1994). And it is probably one of the Oscar winner’s indecisive yet.

At 119 minutes (apparently what we are getting is an edited version - for your information after all the Lust, Caution brouhaha), the movie starts off well with Foster’s character commenting on the sights and sounds of the metropolitan city, before violence sets in and upsets her almost perfect life. From there, the story becomes a revenge vehicle where baddies are finished off one after another. The plot becomes predictably dull and the movie’s pace suffers from it.

The worst drawback of this crime drama thriller has to be its last 30 minutes, where viewers are given a mediocre treatment of a conclusion, which we are still fathoming what writers Roderick Taylor and Bruce A. Taylor were thinking when they penned the story.

New York City’s sights are captured beautifully on camera with Philippe Rousselot’s (Big Fish, Constantine) cinematography, while the emotionally intensive moods are reflected in Dario Marianelli’s (Pride and Prejudice, V for Vendetta) brooding score.

What audiences will be looking out for will be Foster’s explosive performance as a radio talk-show presenter tormented by the violent nightmares and how the agony is transformed into angst and aggression. The Oscar winner slips into her role with ease, and there is nothing to nitpick about her. Oscar nominee Terence Howard plays a detective who is tasked to find out who the gun-hurler is. While not as spectacularly wowing as Foster, his performance is still comfortable to watch. After all, it is Foster’s fiery performance everyone will be cheering for.

Movie Rating:

(Intensively fiery performances from the cast save this movie from being mediocre and dreary)

Review by John Li

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