Pat Coston Movie Reviews

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Brave One

This is a female version of the Charles Bronson movie, Death Wish (1974). I happen to love the movie Death Wish and I love this movie as well. Let it be known that I'm a huge huge huge Jodie Foster fan even before I knew Jodie Foster's name.

In Death Wish, a man's wife is killed and he becomes a vigilante to get revenge. He puts himself in places and situations where people will try to mug and attack him, then he shoots them dead.

In The Brave One, a woman's fiancee is killed and she becomes a vigilante to get revenge. She puts herself in places and situations where people will try to mug and attack her then she shoots them dead.

It also reminded me of the real life story of Bernie Getz who shot 4 black teenagers on a New York subway. Bernie had been mugged many times and decided to protect himself and get revenge on anyone who harassed him. Many considered the sub-way vigilante a hero and in fact, Bernie is mentioned in this movie. This movie also happens to be in New York city where Death Wish was also filmed.

But even though this movie is a female Death Wish and imitates what happened with Bernie Getz, it is its own movie meaning it has elements and plot devices that make it unique.

I grew up with Jodie Foster ... literally. She is my age. Here she is in an ABC After School Special which I remember.

She was all over TV in shows like Disneyland (always watched), Adam-12 (always watched), My Three Sons (watched sometimes), The Courtship of Eddie's Father (always watched), Gunsmoke (watched sometimes), Bonanaza (watched sometimes), Ironside (watched sometimes), Kung Fu (which I watched) and The Partridge Family (which I also watched) as well as in being various ABC After School Specials.

You get the idea but the movie that really put Jodie Foster on my radar was The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1979) which I saw on TV as reruns. Although I've watched that movie a half-dozen times, I have never seen the start of the movie. I always caught it somewhere around the middle and was amazed at the kid about my age who acted like an adult and could handle adult situations. She was also very clever and cool under pressure. I looked up to Jodie Foster and yet at the time, I didn't know her name. For some strange reason, that movie has never been available on DVD.

I didn't see Tax Driver (1976) until I was in college and she gained some notoriety playing a 13 year old hooker although by my calculation she was actually 14 or 15 in real life.

Then in 1981, John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan to prove to Jodie Foster that he loved her. Somehow that had a negative impact on her career for the next 10 years but she finally made a come back with the unforgettable classic, The Silence of the Lambs.

Six years later she was in Contact (1997) and once again, she was amazing. Panic Room (2002) was also mesmerizing. She was in Flightplan (2005) which I enjoyed.

I missed Inside Man (2006) but it looks amazing. Any Spike Lee join with Denzel Washington is automatically by default a great movie.

Because I saw The Brave One in Malaysia, it was censored. I was a bit annoyed because key scenes were removed leaving me wondering "what the hell just happened???" They usually remove any obscenities and yet they left in "Super-Cunt" which is said several times in one scene. I have to laugh when this happens because I figure the person doing the censoring doesn't know what it means.

Terrence Howard (below left) stars as the police investigator who falls in love with Jodie. For a while there were two stories and I wondered how they were going to intersect. It's interesting how the lives of these two people cross. Terrence Howard reminded me a lot of Forest Whitaker who starred with Jodie in The Panic Room.

Forest Whitaker in Panic Room

I'm not saying they look the same. I'm saying that Howard had a similar way about him that reminded me of Whitaker.

Naveen Andrews who I remember as Sayid in Lost, plays Jodie's fiancee. I didn't recognize him at first. He definitely plays a different type of character that we see in Lost. The guy has some range. Strangely enough when I do a search for all cast members common in Lost and The Brave One, some other guys name comes up whom I don't even recognize.

There were some strains on my ability to believe for example a short time after Jodie gets a gun, she finds herself in two back to back situations where her life in danger and she uses the gun to protect herself by killing. These give her a taste of what it is like to shoot a gun and kill someone.

The second time is confronted by two black guys in the New York subway (think Bernie Getz). She has every right to shoot the guy who is holding the big-ass scary knife to her throat but she also shoots his friend who is just standing there watching. There are no witnesses to the shooting but if there were, I wonder how a jury would decide that second shooting.

After Bernie Getz shot the 4 teens he went back and shot at least one of them again even though they were down. He just wanted to make sure they stayed down. Did he have a right to shoot someone who wasn't a threat at that point even though they could be a threat in the near future after they recover from the first shot?

The interesting thing about this movie the concept of taking the law into your own hands and getting revenge on those people who stole your life from you.

I've watched too many episodes of CSI to know that it would not be too hard for forensics to find her. I would tell you why but it would spoil the ending.

I thought Jodie Foster had "jumped the shark" in Flightplan but now I'm thinking she has at least 20 years of good movies to come. I look forward to growing old with Jodie.


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