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"The Brave One"

Directed by Neil Jordan ("The Crying Game", "The Good Thief").
Written by Roderick Taylor, Bruce A. Taylor and Cynthia Mort.
Starring Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Nicky Katt and Naveen Andrews.

Release Year:  2007
Review Date:  9/19/07


Jodie Foster, cappin' fools?  DMX track in the trailer?  I'm THERE!

Okay, I wasn't THAT excited to see the new Foster revenge flick "The Brave One", but I typically like Foster and she doesn't work very often, so that usually forces me into seeing her films even though lately, she hasn't been that lucky.  (How unlucky?  Two different people made jokes about freakin' "Contact" when talking about Foster love interests in movies, and "Contact" came out in '97.)  In fact, sorting through IMDB, she's only starred in six films in the last 13 years (she popped up briefly in a couple others, including "Inside Man" last summer), odd even for someone who took time off to raise a family.

"The Brave One" is hampered mainly by its lack of creativity; worse, if you've seen the trailer, you have literally seen every single time Foster's character even shoots anybody.  Playing a New York City DJ who loses her fiancé in a brutal attack by three hoods in Central Park, Foster is strong as a woman (really) scorned by this act of violence and rather than trusting that the NYPD will do its job and catch the killers, she sets off on her own to put down anyone who gets in her way.  Prowling the streets at night with her handbag and her 9mm handgun, this lady is a load that can't be stopped!

Because you probably saw at least one commercial for "The Brave One", the surprises are non-existent; the film gets its jollies from the rush of watching a normal woman pushed to the brink cap everybody with no consequences.  In-between killings, we get to watch Good, Honest Detective Mercer (Terrence Howard) and his partner, a sap named Vitale (Nicky Katt), try to make sense of all of these random deaths.  As my buddy Brian noted, the cop sequences, in a word, suck.  Or they blow.  You pick, but either way, they are bad.  Even the sequences where the Foster character tries to make sense of her newfound love of killing bad people--mainly in the form of chattiness on her radio show--aren't really well done, either.

But, the film gets a lot from the charisma of both Foster and Howard, even if Howard's character is very poorly written.  Even though I'm going Matinee on this, it's better left for a rental; you might enjoy it more in the comfort of your own home, and you can skip through some of the bad cop dialogue there, too!

Rating:  Matinee


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09