Reviewed by: Spencer Schumacher
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer
What kind of world would you create? Answer
Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer
What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer
What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer
|Featuring:||Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen|
“The Crying Game” (1992), “The End of the Affair” (1999), “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles” (1994)
|Producer:||Herb Gains, Bruce Berman, Joel Silver|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“How many wrongs to make it right?”
Ever since Charles Bronson brandished his magnum and became a one-man vengeance machine in the 1974 film “Death Wish” the revenge-killer has become one of the most recognized characters in Hollywood movies. In Neil Jordan’s (“The Crying Game,” “Interview with the Vampire”) latest film Academy-Award winning actress Jodie Foster straps on the gun and takes up the iconic role of urban waste disposer.
Foster plays radio personality Erica Bain who is an investigative journalist for a nationally syndicated radio show that records the sounds of the “safest, big city.”
Erica is engaged to David (Naveen Andrews) who she lives with in a typical New York apartment just outside of Central Park as the two plan for their upcoming wedding. The young couple playfully argue over whether to wait and appease his family by having a more traditional wedding and what shade of off-white their wedding invitations should be, cream or vanilla.
The couple is out in the park walking their dog when they are confronted by a group of urban gang members who at first attempt to rob them and then escalate their attack to a brutal beating of the couple which leaves Erica recovering in a hospital bed and her fiancé six feet under.
While laying unconscious in the hospital, she is viewed by Detective Mercer (Terrence Howard) who is in the hospital questioning a young girl about the murder of her mother. This investigation serves as the subplot of this film and a key link that will develop between Mercer and Erica Bain. Mercer is an NYPD detective who is trying to nail a man suspected of drug smuggling and murdering his wife while he himself tries to pick up the pieces of a bitter divorce.
Nearly a month after her beating Erica is released from the hospital and into a world that she no longer recognizes, a world she once easily breathed in, now paralyzes her with fear. It is this fear that compels her to purchase an illegal gun.
While shopping at a neighborhood liquor store she witnesses a brutal execution and retaliates in a manner that starts her down the road of one-woman vigilantism.
After a second similar shooting Bain finds herself regularly crossing paths with Detective Mercer who now has to face the prospect that New York has a new Bernard Goetz exacting revenge on the city’s streets.
As Erica gains her confidence back she engages Detective Mercer in a one on one interview about this new vigilante that is making headlines on the NY Post and making fools out of NY’s finest. She asks him if his hands shake when he shoots someone. He answers that they don’t and explains, “that’s how you know you’ve killed a bad guy.” This is one of the many provocative questions the film raises and leaves up to the audience to answer.
As Erica continues down this downward spiral the film challenges the audience to take a moral stance of Bain’s “Vengeance is mine” actions.
The film well deserves it’s R-rating. As far as material that one might find offensive there is the typical amount of profanity as well a a brief scene of nudity which exposes Erica’s breast in a sexual scene between Erica and David. The film delves deeply into the issue of self-appointed street justice and the killings depicted are fairly graphic, but nothing when compared to the brutal beating initially inflicted on the couple that sends Erica on her vengeance spree. This scene is revisited again and again in grainy images caught on the cell phone of one of the perpetrators, the digital images add a sense of realism to the already brutal beating which some viewers might find difficult to watch (again). Scenes of her operation and post-op brutalized body and face will be grimace-inducing to many audience members. The crime scene investigations we see Det. Mercer working to track down the killer are graphic, but nothing beyond what is typically seen on a weekly episode of “CSI”.
The production of Neil Jordan and his crew is done with typical Hollywood flair as cameras follow closely along with Erica Bain and her descent into darkness. Foster, Howard and the rest of the cast deliver top notch, riveting performances that put the audience front and center in the decisions of how far one will go to exact revenge.
“The Brave One” is rated R with a running time of 119 minutes.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.