Last night, one of the cable channels did a two-fer – Taxi Driver and The Brave One with Jodie Foster. I’d never seen Taxi Driver before and my principle impression was “Holy cow! That’s what Robert DeNiro looked like 30 years ago?” So very young… A dated movie, but rooted in the sleaze of 70’s New York.
And then, the completely unnecessary “The Brave One” with Jodie Foster. Sadly, I had seen this movie before, but the first time, it was Charles Bronson in the lead. Woman gets brutalized and fiance gets murdered by thugs, so she buys a gun and goes all vigilante on the streets. The scene where she nails her first victim is an obvious homage to Taxi Driver – she’s in a convenience store, sees a crime and shoots the perp (who, as in all vengeance porn of this type, is clearly human trash who needs killin’). Of course, you have that staple of vigilante movies, the subway low-lives who terrorize people until they pick on the wrong person (FYI: that’s the one with the gun.) And curiously, even though the bad guys are in all ways completely and utterly devoid of morality, remorse, or human feeling, they are also devoid of Glocks, something you’d expect in 2007 NYC. So in the climactic scene, instead of returning fire like you’d expect from gangbangers, the bad guys run like little girls and our heroine manages to hunt them down (in their own familiar building) and put them down like the rabid dogs they are.
So yeah, this movie sucked in almost all ways. Granted, random crime can strike at any time and New York is always going to be one of the sleaze capitals of the world, but it’s come a long way since the Sodom and Gomorrah of the late 70’s. So it’s not clear why this movie needed to be made.
It’s also shot in Murk O’Vision, as if no one in New York ever feels the need to turn on the lights. The reviews that I’ve read (e.g. Ebert) are all slightly apologetic, as if the reviewers are reluctant to straight out pan a movie that Jodie Foster is appearing in, but you can tell that even their faint praise is causing them to die a little inside.
So, the tl;dr is:
How did Jodie Foster get dragged into this piece of cinematic dreck?
What other movies have you seen where an actor or actress is clearly doing it because someone has pictures (filthy, filthy pictures) that they’d rather not be made public?