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The Brave One: A Flawed Superhero Saga

The trailer for Jodie Foster's latest vehicle The Brave One makes it look like a slightly tiresome tale of one woman's revenge. But the chick-power flick also has an alter ego: It's a modern-day superhero story in disguise.

Foster plays Erica Bain, who lives a blissful Boho existence hosting a public radio show about the found sounds of New York City. But her fate shifts when she and her fiance (Naveen Andrews) are beaten by punks in a park and only she survives the assault. How, a friend asks, can you come back from something like that? You can't, she answers: "You become someone else." For where she goes from there,

Llike Batman avenging his parents' death, Bain becomes — without entirely trying — a vigilante who trolls the streets in anonymous pursuit of justice. Along the way, she befriends Detective Mercer (Terrence Howard), the NYPD cop on the case of the headline-making vigilante. As in so many superhero sagas, the relationship between our flawed hero and her law-enforcement counterpart is marked by mutual respect and muted antagonism.

It's an interesting concept, and more artful in the hands of director Neil Jordan than I expected. The performances — particularly those from Foster, Howard, and Nicky Katt as Howard's partner — prove that subtle, natural acting can be far more powerful than histrionics.

Unfortunately, the movie just isn't great. Since the setting and characters are presented in a realistic way, it's tough to get past the far-fetched premise that Bain is getting away with these crimes and the complex balancing act of her life. If the movie relied more on its cool concept and less on hokey Hollywood tropes, it would be a far greater triumph.

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros.

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Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Just added this to my Netflix list.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
looks like another rental to add to my list.
PattyLauren PattyLauren 9 years
Saw it this afternoon. It's very good... not exactly how I expected it to end.
sexyeyes sexyeyes 9 years
I think this movie is beyond stupid!!! :oy:
komler komler 9 years
I saw the trailer and something definitely didn't make sense there for a while. After having seen the trailer I felt that Jodie Foster is a great actress, but I think this is the kind of movie I'll catch when it runs on public television in a year and not in the cinema.
CestLaVie CestLaVie 9 years
I think this is one I'll have to see. It sounded great and her interveiw in Sept. W was awesome, she is a great actress.
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 9 years
""it's tough to get past the far-fetched premise that Bain is getting away with these crimes "" look at reality how many get away with murder, so does not seem far fetched to me. I watched the preview it looks awesome!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 9 years
I'm going to see this tonight.
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 9 years
excellent quote and so true in life, people often think how can someone survive something but the fact is you don't have much choice and you are never the same person after
dcmurray1970 dcmurray1970 9 years
I was kind of wanting to see this. I think I will just wait until I can rent it. Thanks for the review.
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