Monday, September 17, 2007

"The Brave One" executes with ease

My freelance review:
Charles Bronson would be proud.

In the new film The Brave One, it's two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster in a story that's quite reminiscent of Bronson's 1974 Death Wish.

Foster's character, Erica Bain, is the personality behind a melancholic talk radio program that depicts the darker aspects of a moody, personified New York City. As the movie begins, we see and hear this program but only in stark contrast to the happiness of Bain, deeply in love with her fiance, David (well-played by Nadeem Andrews of TV's Lost).

Within the first 10 or 15 minutes of the film, though, Bain's world is turned upside down when she and her fiance are brutally and viciously attacked by several thugs in Central Park.

How Bain carries on in her world turned upside down is the story being told in The Brave One.

Foster carries the movie with ease. She brings a depth to the role of Bain that easily solicits empathy from the viewer. Bain is pretty much walking through life unsettled throughout most of the film -- and this unsettledness triggers a lot of suspense and more than a few jolts and surprises.

Another big plus for the movie is Terrance Howard (2006 Academy Award nominee for Hustle & Flow) as a detective investigating a rash of recent vigilante-style killings.

At the end of the day, The Brave One is clearly big-budget Hollywood entertainment. While it may not get strong marks for originality, it does get strong marks for execution -- in more ways than one.

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