Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Brave One DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Jodie Does New York as Revenge-Minded Vigilante

David (Naveen Andrews) and Erica’s (Jodie Foster) impending wedding plans are ruined the night they’re mugged while walking their dog in Central Park. David dies from the sadistic beating doled out by the creeps, while she’s left comatose.
Weeks after recovering from her wounds, Erica is still too paralyzed by fear to return to her work as a radio talk show host. In fact, she’s so traumatized by the tragedy that she can’t leave her apartment. Frightened by the prospect of encountering the criminals again, Erica purchases a pistol on the black market to protect herself.
Now armed and emboldened, she starts devoting her evenings to roaming the streets in search of the perpetrators. And she gradually morphs into a monster with no qualms about dispensing a deadly brand of instant justice to any outlaws who cross her path. Meanwhile, she returns to the airwaves as host of “Street Walk,” though subtly changing the theme of her program to reflect a simpatico with the anonymous vigilante who suddenly has all of New York abuzz.
So unfolds The Brave One, a raw-edged revenge flick which takes most of its cues from the Charles Bronson classic Death Wish (1974). Jodie Foster turns in her best performance since Panic Room, here, imbuing her cold and calculating killer with a contemplative side seldom seen in such tales of vengeance. Given that the script is riddled with lines which would sound false coming from the mouth of a less gifted lead, director Neil Jordan should thank his lucky stars for having landed a two-time Oscar-winner in Ms. Foster.
New York as a godforsaken metropolis where you have a close brush with a criminal every five minutes. Hence, everybody’s grateful for the presence of a gun-toting vigilante intent on exacting retribution.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated R for profanity, sexuality and graphic violence.
Running time: 90 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Extras: Additional scenes, plus a featurette entitled “I Walk the City.”

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