Brave One, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen. Psychological thriller. Written by Cynthia Mort and Neil Jordan. Directed by Neil Jordan.

FILM SYNOPSIS. New York radio host Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) has a life that she loves and a fianc she adores. All of it is taken from her when a brutal attack leaves Erica badly wounded and her fianc 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 publics 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.

PREVIEW REVIEW: A more conflicted Death Wish, with Jodie Foster filling in for Charlie Bronson, The Brave One is superb filmmaking. With intense performances from Ms. Foster and Terrence Howard, plus a well-structured script that points out the frustrations of victims of crime and the judicial system, The Brave One holds our attention throughout. Alas, as with most films that will be vying for the Motion Picture Academys attention this year, it punctuates its story with R-rated content. Everybody gets to use the f-bomb many times in order to express their frustration and fear. And why imply when you can depict? So we see many graphic close-up shootings, one dastardly dude getting it in the eye, another in the mouth, one chick three times in the chest by her peeved boyfriend.

Its a well-made film, but a rough one; not just because of the violence or the language, but because of its reminder that brutality lurks around the corner and touches lives otherwise involved in everyday living. The movie haunts us as it suggests tragedy may suddenly disrupt our lives. By films end, the main victim has found no solace, no peace of mind. Ironically, she wears a cross throughout the film, but never do we see her praying for God to intercede. For me that was the most disturbing aspect, this physically and mentally wounded woman trying to find resolve from within, yet never seeking a spiritual assist.

The ending is just as morally repugnant as the one in the original Death Wish where Charles Bronson was seen in a new town aiming a finger like a gun at delinquents, implying his reign as vigilante had not ended. While I wont give away this pictures climax, suffice it to say, though it appears our heroine has been reprieved, in reality, she has not truly been helped.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Warner Bros.

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around 30 obscenities, mostly the f-word and mostly from attacking thugs; the leads also curse from time to time.

Profanity: I only caught one misuse of Christs name, but it was done in such an offensive way that it borders on blasphemy.

Violence: There are several killings, opening with the lead and her fianc being beaten brutally by a gang of thieves; the man dies from this and she is scared both physically and mentally; the attack is graphically depicted; seeking justice, the lead buys a gun and manages to find all the offending attackers in the city of New York and shoots them; one man attacks the lead with a crowbar; he is then hit with one and thrown to his death. Blood: We see the bloodied bodies of the lead and her fianc as they are removed from the crime scene; all the shootings are done close up and are graphically depicted.

Sex: In dreams, the lead sees her fianc as they make love; these scenes are mixed with those of the attack.

Nudity: Nearly.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some drinking and the lead smokes.

Other: None

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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