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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Braven 2018 * * Stars

BravenDirector: Lin Oeding
Year: 2018
Rated R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Jason Momoa, Garret Dillahunt, Stephen Lang

Braven (my latest write-up) is low on plot, low on horse sense, and short on serviceable editing. Its star (Jason Momoa) was in Justice League but this is not the vehicle that anoints him to A-list status.

As far as 2018's releases go, Braven feels like a mash-up of Assault on Precinct 13, Cliffhanger, and 1981's Death Hunt. It may be akin to those films as a dead heated, status quo. Nevertheless, I can't quite recommend Braven. Yes it has moments of survival that are relentless and inventive. Still, its residue is wholly stock. Braven sadly veers into direct-to-video territory.

Image result for braven 2018 movie scenesBraven is about one man protecting his family (grandfather, daughter, and wife). Its title comes from the name of the main character (Jason Momoa as Joe Braven). Momoa meets the physical demands of the role, looks like an out of place Adonis, and has a screen presence that is functional. His Joe is a brute, hard-working logger with I guess, a special set of skills (Liam Neeson was unavailable being in The Commuter and all).

Joe finds an immense stash of cocaine in his cabin. It has been left there by drug runners for safe keeping (one of said drug runners is Joe's insipid co-worker). They come to claim it and so begins a standoff between good and evil. Braven the movie relies heavily on merciless violence, beautified Canadian backdrops (impersonating the state of Washington), father/son conflicts, and bulletproof logistics. Protagonists and antagonists get shot at but never seem to die or feel any morbid pain. Axes, demise by fire, and mountainous falls take care of that.

Image result for braven 2018 movie scenesAll in all, Braven clocks in at ninety-four fast-paced minutes. Its action sequences veer between pedestrian and exhaustion-filled. Lin Oeding's spraying direction is standard fare. This is despite the reliable Stephen Lang, the damsel Jill Wagner, and the cold-blooded Garret Dillahunt being added to the cast. Bottom line: Braven as a gelid weather thriller, may give motion junkies their diverted, rental fix. In my mind though, it isn't really worth "braving". Rating: 2 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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