“Why don’t they stop me?” Erica Bain wonders. Bain, a popular New York radio host, watched her fiance die and nearly lost her own life to a vicious, random attack. Now she discovers a stranger within herself, an armed wanderer in the urban night, out for vengeance and at war with her own soul. Two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster as Erica joins Oscar nominee Terrence Howard as a determined cop hot on her trail. Erica’s future is uncertain but one thing is not: The Brave One is a high-tension thriller that packs a visceral and emotional punch.
The Brave One takes the revenge tale to a new level by deeply examining the reaction of one woman (Jodie Foster as Erica Bain) to a horrible, random crime which results in the death of her fiance (Naveen Andrews from TV’s Lost). Though the film echoes the B-movie revenge dramas of a by-gone era, it does not stagnate as a typical genre movie: director Neil Jordan takes the story to a new level of realism and taps into the primal and dark though intensely human reaction to violence. The world Jordan weaves, a very real New York that seems to breathe and be a full-fledged dynamic character all its own, paired with the concentrated exploration of some of humanity’s darkest emotions gives both Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard the room to give perhaps the most subtext-filled and grounded performances of their careers to date.
After watching I Walk the City, a short behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Brave One, I felt an even deeper appreciation for the dark places of the human experience the creators and actors in this film were willing to examine. The Brave One is definitely a must-see as it is rare that a movie leaves me so heart-wrenched, disturbed and ultimately more sympathetic to those who try to fight the good fight instead of turning vigilante.
Review by Marie Holzer