The Brave One Neil Jordan

The Brave One Neil Jordan
Jodi Foster decides to take on the evils of the big city in The Brave One. Like the late, great Charles Bronson’s less than classic Death Wish series, The Brave One pits our heroine against the cliché fears of urbana-phobic people everywhere. Unfortunately, despite its pretensions, this film is little more than a formulaic and predictable vigilante story. Erica Bain (Jodi Foster) is a radio show host who poetically romanticises the urban landscape of NYC on her program. But, when she and her fiancé (Naveen Andrews) are brutally attacked by thugs in Central Park, her view of the city quickly changes. Her husband dies of his injuries and after recovering from a coma, Erica is able to leave the hospital, but the city she once loved has now become a place of shadows and fear. Erica decides to take matters into her own hands and shoot down the bad guys hiding in the places she once loved. The main problem with The Brave One is that Jodi Foster’s character becomes a magnet for stereotypical "bad guy” attacks: she and her fiancé are brutally attacked for no good reason, Foster is then caught in a convenience store hold-up, assaulted on the subway by "gangsta” thugs and confronted by some sort of slave trading, whore-napping super-pimp. These caricatures of urban criminality might ring true for someone who has never visited a city larger than Moose Jaw, SK (pop. 32,000), but even a semi-urban dweller will have difficulty suspending their disbelief as poor Erica encounters New York’s most cliché criminals. The DVD is light on extras, with only some lame deleted scenes and a "making of” feature that’s as stereotypical as the film. The Brave One doesn’t bravely tackle the vigilante/revenge genre so much as it blindly shoots its way through the script in a vaguely artistic manner. If you’re in the mood for revenge, I suggest the recently released, lower profile but higher calibre Death Sentence. (Warner)