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‘The Brave One’ fights for revenge

September 20th, 2007

In 1974, Charles Bronson made it cool to take out deserving criminals and would-be muggers in his award-winning “Death Wish.” Now, it only seems fair that a female take her turn at being a one-woman vigilante squad that takes the law into her own hands.

Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) is a public radio personality who reads her own essays and stories on a New York City radio station. With a calm, thoughtful and carefully measured voice, Erica speaks to the city one listener at a time.

Brave One

The movie starts off with Erica believing that her city, in her words, is “the safest big city in the world.”

Then comes that fateful night, when Erica’s paradise turns into a nightmare. As Erica and her fiancé, David, (“Lost’s” Naveen Andrews) are taking an evening stroll through Central Park with their dog, they are mugged by a trio of young thugs.

After being brutally attacked, Erica is left in a coma and her fiancé ends up dead, with everything caught on tape.

Weeks later Erica awakens from her coma to learn that her love is dead and buried.
As she lies in her hospital bed, slowly recovering from the punishment dealt by the hoodlums, she can do nothing but grow fierce with anger as she longs for vengeance. She is now a nobody, a stranger and her once beloved city has become a terribly hostile environment.

Once released from the hospital, she immediately seeks protection for herself.
After being turned away for not having legal documentation, she purchases an automatic pistol from the guy hanging around outside the gun store, who kindly throws in a free box of bullets. With her arsenal packed in her purse, it’s only a matter of time before she finds the opportunity to use it.

Fate provides her first victim, a crazed gunman in an all-night grocery store where Erica shops. A first-time shooter, Erica finally kills the man after firing a few stray shots.
In shock, she quickly grabs the surveillance tape and hightails it home, leaving top detectives Mercer and Vitale (Terrance Howard and the hilarious Nicky Katt) to inspect the scene.
Soon bodies start piling up everywhere, each exterminated by the same gun.
After spotting Erica near a crime scene, Detective Mercer becomes suspicious of the meek radio personality.

Before long, Mercer and Erica empathize with each other’s struggle and Mercer discovers his new friend’s secret. Knowing that Mercer is hot on her trail, she must decide whether her quest for revenge is truly the right path, or if she is becoming the very thing she is trying to stop.

Although the film does have some slow parts, like Erica and David’s horrible chemistry, the movie offers a very enjoyable experience. Indulging herself in the film’s character, Jodie Foster delivers the performance of her career (arguably her only good one), and matches up perfectly with the likable Terrance Howard.

Just like its predecessor, “The Brave One” allows the audience to decide who should win, the seemingly innocent, or how about the bad guys for once.