The Brave One

Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard in The Brave One (dir. Neil Jordan, 2007).

This old-school revenge flick contains considerable stretches of gratifying sensationalism, but Neil Jordan always has to stink it up with bits of lazy impressionism that don't tell you anything you couldn't figure out for yourself about the inner lives of the characters. Particularly appalling is the sequence in which footage of the paramedics cutting clothes from the bodies of the badly injured hero and her murdered fiancee is intercut with soft-focus scenes of past lovemaking. Another unforgiveable vice: using Enya on the soundtrack. Actually, it's probably not Enya. It's probably one of those five thousand singers you hear only on film soundtracks that sound just like Enya. So it might as well be Enya, and I'll save myself the trouble of looking it up and just say it's Enya.

Foster is convincing, and Mary Steenburgen would be entertaining if she were just leaning against a wall and mumbling. Come to think of it, that's essentially what she does in this movie, and in most of the movies I can remember seeing her in for the past twenty years. The best moments are the scenes of smartass graveyard talk between Detectives Mercer and Vitale (Terrence Howard and Nicky Katt) at crime scenes.

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