R Dir: Neil Jordan | Warner | 122 min.
Review By: Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012
Plot: What’s it about?
Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) used to love to walk the streets of New York, even going to the lengths of recording the sounds of the city, to preserve the atmosphere. But these days, she doesn’t walk the streets with the same passion as before, as the streets now have a dark, uninviting presence. While in the park with her fiance David (Naveen Andrews), she was attacked for no reason by a group of street thugs. She was beaten badly and her dog was stolen, but her fiance suffered the brunt of the assault, as he was beaten to death on the spot. After an extensive recovery program, Erica tries to rebuild her life, but finds herself a hostage to fear, which in turn leads her to buy a gun. When danger presents itself once again, this time she fights back and in the process, shoots and kills a man who gunned down a store clerk. As time passes, she finds herself driven to protect herself and others at all cost, but when her actions are found out, what will become of Erica?
The previews for The Brave One drew me in, I imagined an update of Death Wish with Jodie Foster. This is indeed a vigilante movie, but this is no Death Wish. The movie is brutal at times, with some sudden violence that is sure to upset some, as well a dark tone that ramps up as time passes. The filmmakers can’t decide what direction to take The Brave One in however, going back and forth between moral judgments and celebrations of violence. I appreciate it when filmmakers can leave final judgment with the audience, but develop the concept properly before you do so. The Brave One is too inconsistent and flip-flops too often, which waters down the experience. Even so, I was never bored with this movie and I was entertained, I just wanted more. So while its no classic, The Brave One is worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
The Brave One is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. Given the nature of the material, you wouldn’t expect a bright, sleek transfer, but that is what we have here. The print does show some grain, which helps enforce the harsh tone, but for the most part, this looks slick and polished. The colors look excellent here, even when the visual design slants toward certain hues over others, while contrast is spot on. I do think the night scenes lose some tension thanks to being so well lit, but that is how the movie was filmed, so we can’t fault this presentation. The detail is great, but not up to the best high definition treatments out there. Even so, this is a top notch visual effort, one that fans should appreciate.
Audio: How does it sound?
This Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option is quite impressive, but in the traditional sense. The surrounds don’t exhibit a lot of power, instead the elements feed to those channels to build and maintain atmosphere. As the movie rolls on and tension builds, the track slowly ratchets up the audio tension as well. The result is that the movie is more effective and the overall mood is enhanced, good stuff indeed. The music sounds good, vocals are flawless, a very skillful audio presentation. This disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, French and Spanish language tracks, and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a brief behind the scenes featurette, as well as some deleted scenes.
- (2.40:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Audio: Dolby TrueHD
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 1 Disc Set