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Brave One, The


Stars: Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Nicky Katt, Mary Steenburgen, Naveen Andrews

Director: Neil Jordan

Death Wish all over again, with Charles Bronson's black leather jacket passing to an unlikely recipient in the form of diminutive Jodie Foster.

In the only event of note in a dull first half hour, radio host Jodie and her fiance (Andrews) are taken apart by three hoodlums in one of those Central Park tunnels where these things happen. Jodie survives, but Andrews dies.

After weeks of recovery, Jodie is no longer the same person. And, to her credit, she does look entirely different. Armed with a gun, she puts herself in harm's way to sort out the pimps and punks of 'America's safest city'. A supermart killer, subway thugs and a pimp in a car are all dispatched by Jodie's new 9 millimeter. Detective Howard, interviewed by her for her show, begins to suspect her, but has his own long-running case trying to pin down one of the city's biggest gun- and drug-running businessmen. Jodie decides to help him out on that one.

Not content in giving us too many yawns in between killings, the film goes completely bananas at the end. Why Jodie (or even Howard) would want to do such an outdated piece Heaven knows. There's no one else of note in it, either, save for Steenburgen as Jodie's boss, and the bad guys are merely ciphers. At least Jodie's driven performance doesn't let her fans down.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
118 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 23 Sep 2007