The Brave One

(2007) * 1/2 R
122 min. Warner Brothers. Director: Neil Jordan. Cast: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen, Jane Adams.
Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, and director Neil Jordan slum for the slick Hollywood thriller The Brave One. The seedy revenge flick finds Foster's radio host turning vigilante: Ira Glass crossed with Bernie Goetz. The storyline might seem more palatable given the casting of Foster, but The Brave One isn't feminist in its intent. There's a highly unusual, highly unlikely romance with Howard, but aside from maddeningly redundant narration about how, after trauma, "You become someone else—a stranger," The Brave One has little on its mind other than getting an audience to cheer as Foster blows away uniformly awful scumbags. With no ambiguity and an implicit endorsement of lawlessness, Jordan's film is nothing but talent-wasting mainstream exploitation.
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