Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Woman With a Grudge

The Brave One (2007) on IMDb

Plot Overview

loversNYC radio commentator Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) hosts Streetwalk on WNKW with a poetic panache that makes one care about the city's disappearing land­marks and personages. She's shown lily white walking the city in flats and a page­boy making this diminutive lady look even smaller, framed by a microphone alternately dangled and raised to further add to her shrinkage. She is engaged to a very tall, dark-skinned Dr. David Kirmani (Naveen Andrews) whose long black hair and head-to-toe hospital scrubs emphasize his height. The closeups of their makeout sessions together, with different body types and skin colors, are optically repulsive. However, Erica likes a dark apartment and her guy prefers vanilla-colored wedding announce­ments. There's no accounting for taste. Whatever.

Due to their late shifts they walk their german shepherd Curtis at night in Central Park. A tattooed Latino Reed Bryant (Rafael Sardina) accosts them under a pedestrian under­pass for violating the leash law and demands a reward for returning—it wasn't really lost—their dog. Of course, the prudent thing to do would have been to give the guy some dough to show respect, but doctors are those used to being the respected ones par excellence, so this is not going to end well, especially when two of the guy's homies appear on the scene. It would have been just a rob­bery gone bad, but the assailants seemed to be enraged by the couple (“How cute, love­birds”) having crossed the color line, turning it into a hate crime. They kick David, David kicks the bucket, Erica becomes comatose, and her ring gets stolen.

The ring was Mughal, which David got from his grandmother. Webster defines its equivalent, “mogul : an Indian Muslim descended of or descended from one of several conquering groups of Mongol, Turkish, and Persian origin.” Having identified with David's family, Erica now dons the mantle of a warrior princess out to avenge her man's death. She purchases a hand­gun and practices shooting the deserving in the city. The movie paints it as justifi­able homicides, and kismet allows her to get away with it, but her inner poetic nature makes her conflicted. The Big Apple gets portrayed as a racially and ethnically diverse city where neighbors and co-workers generally get along with each other. It portrays marriage (and relation­ships) as especially difficult and miscegenation as overly difficult to the point of divorce or worse.


lily crossUpon coming out of her coma and discovering her loss, Erica takes to wearing a small crucifix that gets shown and handled through­out the film as she now has a cross to bear. Her course of action reminds one of Kenny Rogers's song concerning a chance meeting with “The Gambler” on a train, who offered the passenger the advice that, “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repartee is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A grey­hound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In our movie Erica needs a weapon and purchases a hand­gun paying a load of cash, forgoing any gun license or waiting period, and getting a fundamental first lesson … with several more to come on live targets. She means business.

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em.” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. When Erica completes her mission, she'll give her­self up (“You can take me now”) being done with it.

We have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” Erica walks away from a police lineup with the perp in it whom she recognizes; she has other plans for him.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” When Homicide Detective Sean Mercer (Terrence Howard) cottons on to the imminent assassination of the suspect, he takes off running like mad down the corridor trying to intervene in time.

Of course, Kenny Rogers's Gambler advises us to wait until all the dealing's done before counting the money. Wait for the plot twist at the end.

Production Values

” (2007) was directed by Neil Jordan. Its screenplay was written by Roderick Taylor and Bruce Taylor with story input from Cynthia Mort. It stars Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, and Naveen Andrews. Foster did great as lead and Howard the detective wasn't half bad either.

MPAA rated it R for strong violence, language and some sexuality. The tempo moved it right along, the music kinda swelled on up, and the camera twisted and turned just enough to keep us slightly off balance. We knew a lot of bad things were gonna happen but they weren't cookie cutter events. I won't comment on whether the star Erica was heroine or villain, but ironically her Latino target Reed with his Latina girl­friend Shauna seemed for a time like the only couple in the whole movie with any hope of making it.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

American Bald Eagleole glory

Erica wore a shirt with an eagle on it, and American flags appeared in many of the scenes, so I believe we are to own up to her being American what­ever else she was. The plot was clean and straight­forward, enhanced by appropriate music, talented cinema­tog­raphy, and good acting. It stayed within credible bounds. Top marks from me.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Special effects: Average special effects. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture was cited from the King James Version, Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. Web.

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster. 1984. Print.