Jodie Foster's The Brave One opened to the number one spot in the weekend, but was still regarded as a disappointment for the actress who expects openings twice as big as what this dark revenge thriller delivered. So why did audiences turn their back on her? It's simple: The Brave One is a dark revenge thriller that doesn't appeal to Foster's standard audience, but that doesn't mean it's not a quality film.
From Neil Jordan (Interview with a Vampire, The Good Thief), The Brave One is a gritty look at one woman's descent into the underworld as she loses all abandon for the justice system and decides to take matters into her own hands. After her boyfriend (Naveen Andrews, best known as Said on "Lost") is beaten to death and she nearly put in the same condition, Foster buys a gun and in one fateful moment shoots an armed robber dead. As the number of killings rise, New Yorkers become conflicted over whether this mysterious vigilante is good for the city or not. To make matters worse (or better), Foster befriends the detective (Terrence Howard) investigating the case.
The Brave One does have some slow moments and those looking for an all-out killing spree will be disappointing, but Jordan has directed a fine picture here that offers up two very deep and powerful characters while balancing that with a fair amount of bloody killings. The movie does lose a little bit in the second half, but overall it is a well-paced drama-thriller. I also wasn't too crazy about the decision by one of the main characters at the end, but that's a personal preference.
Foster turns in her best performance in years and her best leading role since Contact, and Howard is also at the top of his game. I've been unconvinced with Howard even while others have been praising him, but The Brave One brought me one step closer to believing.
The Brave One isn't flawless, but it is certainly a well done and well acted film with some good killings and a powerful story.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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