"what the narrative may lack in depth and dimension is balanced out by the cinematography"
So what would it take to turn a happy 30-something New Yorker, in love with her city and her fiancée, into a cold blooded murderer? How about being attacked and brutally beaten in Central Park by a gang of thugs, then waking up in hospital only to find out that the love of your life has been buried while you were in a three week long coma.
The Brave One takes you on a journey of what it means to loose everything, to become a shadow of yourself, propelled by a very strong performance by Jodi Foster as Erica Bain. We watch as she finds herself crippled by fear, unable to step over the threshold between her home and the city she once felt safe in, now turned against her. When she does find the strength to leave, she's caught up in a convenience store shooting and surprises herself by killing the attacker. And so begins her mission to take the law into her own hands, killing those who abuse, taunt and betray, yet always remaining the victim of violence.
On the way, she catches the attention of NYPD Detective Mercer (Terrence Howard), the lead investigator in what becomes known as the "vigilante killings". They form a close bond, though the basis of it is not always clear. It's a pity that so much of the film's focus is on the murders, preventing the audience from exploring Erica's character deeper. You wonder why she has no friends and what her logic is for not seeking help when she is clearly loosing her mind. However, what the narrative may lack in depth and dimension is balanced out by the cinematography, most notably the artful juxtaposition of tender love making and gory violence to signify her pain. And while the ending may feel like somewhat of an anti-climax after spending the past two hours jumping out of your seat, it never the less brings the journey satisfyingly full-circle.