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The Brave One

A vigilant film lacking courage
By RAFER GUZMAN  |  September 12, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for The Brave One.

The Brave One
is director Neil Jordan’s attempt at a thinking man’s vigilante flick. Make that thinking woman, for this time the predator is Erica Bain (Jodie Foster), a highbrow radio host who goes on a rampage after her fiancé is beaten to death by Central Park thugs. It’s a potentially juicy premise (imagine NPR’s Terry Gross morphing into Charles Bronson), but the movie is too troubled by its own bad conscience to allow itself, or us, to have any fun. The bouts of bloodletting are filmed gingerly, almost prissily, as if to avoid the taint of cheap thrills, and they’re followed by somber disclaimers about law and order, usually from the mouth of Terrence Howard as an upstanding cop. Despite the fine acting (especially from Foster, looking frail and haunted) and a climax calculated to shock, The Brave One isn’t worthy of the controversy it hopes to create. It’s a vigilante film that lacks the courage of its convictions.
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  Topics: Reviews , National Public Radio Inc., Jodie Foster, Terry Gross,  More more >
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