Ken's Review: The Brave One aka 'Revengegirl'
by Ken Evans
September 19, 2007
If you love superhero movies and watched Spider-Man 3 thinking your appetite wouldn't be satisfied again until the release of The Dark Knight or Iron Man, then you're sadly mistaken. There is a film out right now that can quench that desire. The hero in this film might not be quite what you were expecting as she can't fly like Superman or climb walls like Spider-Man, nor does she wear a costume or have millions of dollars to create super cool gadgets. She doesn't even have a superior intellect that would enable her to outsmart a super villain and his henchman. What she does have is a catastrophic event so powerful that it turns her into a different person, much like Batman. The person that was there before has been erased and another person has arisen in its place, someone bent on revenge toward the people that turned her into this monster, wanting nothing but to put an end to them and anyone like them. You might call her "The Brave One" but in superhero world she would be called "9mm" or "Revengegirl" or something like that. Taking out the trash to make the world a safer place.
Erica (Jodie Foster) is a radio personality who is taking a walk with her fiancé when they are jumped by some thugs. Erica gets beaten within an inch of her life and her fiancé ends up dying. After some time in the hospital and a few days at home, Erica tries to leave her apartment but can't because fear has taken over. She gets up the strength to finally go outside again but the fear is still too great, so she buys a gun. That same night in a convenience store she witnesses a murder and shoots the murderer. From here on we watch as she either comes across bad guys and kills them, or she actively pursues them. Detective Mercer (Terrence Howard) starts investigating these killings while at the same time becomes friends with Erica. I could go into a lot more detail with the killings or Erica and Detective Mercer's relationship, but it would be too much of a spoiler.
I loved just about everything about this movie. The acting was great, which wasn't a surprise coming from actors like Jodie Foster and Terrence Howard. Though what I really enjoyed most was the story mirroring that of a comic, which most resembles Batman's story. For starters you have the traumatic event that creates the hero. Erica's fiancé is killed by some ruffians creating a deep passion for revenge in Erica. Also, you have the support characters that assist the hero. Detective Mercer is like Commissioner Gordon in that he drops her information and supports her even though he would never do the deeds himself. Erica's landlord is like Alfred in that she gives advice to Erica and cleans her up after a battle. We even see Erica slowly transforming more and more as the movie progresses. Although she isn't wearing a cape and cowl she does upgrade from a hooded sweatshirt to a black leather jacket and gloves, which is her costume of choice.
When it comes down to it this is Batman to the extreme. The only difference is that in the Batman movies Batman doesn't kill the bad guys by blowing their brains out. The audience in the theater, when I saw this, was applauding and cheering every time she killed another bad guy. The director did a great job in making me feel what Erica felt, making me feel some of the satisfaction that she felt in taking a bad guys life. I walked out of it feeling much like Detective Mercer, on one hand knowing that the law must be upheld, while at the same time having a deep desire for someone like "V" or Batman or even a "Revengegirl" to say enough is enough. The best movie experiences for me are ones where I can put myself in the character's position or situation, and therefore I highly recommend The Brave One!