THE BRAVE ONE
REVIEW BY DAVE SMITH
Way back in 1931 the Motion Picture Production Code
(administered by Indiana's Will Hays) stated..."No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of
those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience shall never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil, or
sin." There was also a dictum which said that there must be "compensation for an 'immoral' act." Amazingly this code
was in effect for 40 years! Lucky for Neil Jordan and Jody Foster we are no longer governed by this puritanical code.
In this film Jody Foster murders at least six people and gets away with it. Foster is a very intelligent woman but
she sometimes uses bad judgment in selecting her screen roles. Why she ever did a remake of The King and I is
beyond me. She is always good as an actress but the vehicle is sometimes weak. Perhaps she trusted director Neil Jordan
who gave us The Crying Game and Michael Collins. In turn, Jordan may have trusted his writers too much.
is carried solely by Jody Foster's acting and Neil Jordan's directing. They try valiantly to overcome the screenplay
but in the end...especially in the end...they fail.
Foster plays a modern day Charles Bronson vigilante. Her fiance
is murdered by three thugs in Central Park. She is beaten senseless and is in a coma for three weeks. When she recovers
and goes home, she is afraid to leave her apartment. When she does, she immediately decides to buy a gun...no longer
trusting the streets of New York. Of course buying a gun is a simple thing in America where it seems everyone is selling
one on a street corner. She learns to shoot and is unexpectedly faced with a chance to use the gun when she visits a convenience
store in which she witnesses a husband killing his wife. After dispatching the husband, she returns to her apartment and
finds she now has the courage to let a couple of punks on a subway have it.
Enter the good detective, played very well by Terrence Howard. He listens to Foster on her radio show and becomes
intrigued. He meets her and they hit it off. They play cat and mouse games with each other until Howard begins to
suspect that Foster may be the vigilante. The worst thing about this film is the ending. There were snickers throughout
the theater when this film concluded. Surely Neil Jordan could have come up with a better ending. It is not only
illogical, it is ridiculous. The film might have been better with a good ending...but not much better.
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