One Tough Chick: What happens when the place you call home becomes a place of fear; paralyzing you in your tracks and questioning who you are and what you've become? That's the question that Jodie Foster sets out to answer in the new tough-chick thriller The Brave One (R). Directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Breakfast On Pluto) the film brings to light the vigilante that each of us has inside of us. If you've seen the trailer for the film you know just about everything that happens but what you don't know is how Foster pulls the film up from just a big screen made-for-tv-type movie. A woman suffers a brutal attack that kills her fiancee and makes her a stranger to herself. It lacks oomph in a number of places but Foster makes up for that with her ever changing expressions that paint a picture of precision of what she's feeling and thinking. She could go the entire movie with no dialogue and we'd still be able to follow her on her journey from city walker/radio personality Erica Bain to a gun-toting crime stopping renegade.
As the "victims" build up in the city that never sleeps, detective Mercer (Terrence Howard) begins to suspect Erica and begins investigating her. Mercer himself is haunted by the criminals that he can't put away and reveals himself as conflicted and vulnerable during an interview. Foster and Howard have terrific chemistry; not to take anything away from Howard but it's mostly Foster. She should give a master class on infusing a role, any role, with all she's got.
As the film follows Erica to the inevitable conclusion and as she sets out to get her dog back, the film debates the morality of Erica's actions and offers no real easy answers. As Erica becomes tortured more and more with each killing; each one a hole inside of her, we too become conflicted too. I've no doubt that there will be cheering as the film nears its journey and that is probably the scariest part of the whole film.
The Brave One might not get any award nominations; I'm not even sure if Foster will garner one, however, the film will make one think about right and wrong; good and evil; white and black and just how thin the lines between those things are.
Vomit scene: Yes. Visible: No. Scene occurs after the subway shooting when Foster's character enters the bathroom of the club.
Bags of popcorn (out of 5): 4