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September 07, 2007

“The Brave One”
Directed by Neil Jordan


When the film was over, my only thought was of the blatant irresponsibility of the writer and director in creating a film that not only champions vigilantism, but shows the audience a by the book cop break the rules and allow himself to be sucked into a web of murder…


Jodie Foster stars as Erica, a radio talk show host in New York City – like Woody Allen, her city, the city she loves. One night, Jane and her fiancée are attacked by a group of thugs who beat her love to death and take her dog. Badly beaten herself and left for dead, Jane recovers from the savagery, now angry, somehow changed by what has happened to her. She makes the perfectly irrational decision to buy an illegal gun and quickly learns how to use it.

Jane then takes to the streets, quickly overcoming a phobia, where it seems each time she is out and about she encounters criminal activity that requires her interference…meaning she shoots and kills people breaking the law. This happens not once but several times as the places she visits seem to be conveniently teeming with injustice.

Mercer (Terrence Howard), a detective investigating Jane’s case, befriends her and slowly realizes that she may indeed be up to no good at night. He also makes it very clear that he has the conviction to put someone away who he knows is breaking the law.

Jodie Foster is incapable of giving a bad performance as she is far too fine an actress, far too intelligent. Her work here is extremely focused, very strong, though I question why, as actress and executive producer, she would not have questioned the film's ending?

Oscar nominee Terence Howard is equally good as the cop who becomes her friend and then violates everything he believes in to protect her. But I wanted to scream at the screen, “You just blew it!!!”

Comparisons to Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” are ridiculous. Travis Bickle was driven by madness while Foster is driven by a need for closure and revenge. The horror of “Taxi Driver” was that he got away with it because they believed he was saving a young girl when in fact he was feeding his bloodlust. Where these comparisons come from I don’t know, and I certainly will not be sucked into thinking the same.

This is a well crafted and well acted film, but it is horribly irresponsible in its conclusion.


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