When radio host Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) barely survives a brutal park attack that claims the life of her fiancé, her world is turned upside down, leaving her empty and alone. Unable to forget that tragic night, and with no help from local authorities, Bain decides that it is up her to seek justice on the men that she holds accountable. Patrolling the streets at night Bain begins to bring justice to those who have wronged humanity, but with a police detective (Terrance Howard) hot on her heels Bain begins to wonder if she is really doing society a favor, or if she is simply turning into the thing that she has been trying to stop all along.
The Brave One, Foster's third in the last five years, is rich in story and potential; however, it proves to be way too long, becoming a "˜clock-watcher' and dragging to an anti-climatic finish.
Jodie Foster plays the timid turned violent Bain to perfection. Grasping her unfamiliarity in violent situations and bringing the emptiness behind her eyes to the forefront you are able to relate to the character, feeling sorry for her and her situation. However, Terrance Howard wasn't quite as impressive. Unable to portray a sympathetic, caring officer of the law, Howard tends to appear far too fragile to actually be a successful police detective and his chemistry with Foster is absolutely ridiculous. There is one scene when Howard is finally suspicious of Foster, the two are sitting at a bar talking, and although the scene is suppose to be an awkward transaction of words between the two, I have never felt like something has dragged so miserably. There was no flow of dialogue, no feeding off of one another, just a poor, unbelievable interaction.
Then there is the script, which was about 30 minutes and one "˜help for society' too long. During the course of the film Foster helps society a number of times. However, after about the third incident the audience got the picture of what she was doing, and we could have skipped to the ending. The last hour had very little plot or character development, thus resulting in basically a repeat of the half hour before, which should have been avoided all together to give the film a shorter running time and a quicker, more intense track to the final scene. But unfortunately it drags on and really brings the quality of the film down dramatically.
The film as a whole was extremely average, nothing just miserable about it, but with names like Foster and Howard attached we have come to expect much better.