Braven (Movie Review)

braven slide - Braven (Movie Review)

Braven (Movie Review)

It is a battle of the titans: Jason Momoa versus Garret Dillahunt in the Action-Thriller flick Braven, which arrives to select theatres, as well as VOD, on Friday, February 2, 2018, thanks to Saban Films and Lionsgate.

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Braven still.

In a rugged but gorgeous snow-covered landscape in Washington State near the border with Canada, the Braven family are facing troubles ahead; namely, the emotional turmoil brought on by the demise of grandpa Linden’s (Stephen Lang: Tombstone 1993, Avatar 2009) health due to a slowly progressing dementia. His son Joe (Momoa: Game of Thrones series, Justice League 2017), daughter-in-law Stephanie (Jill Wagner: Splinter 2008, Teen Wolf series), and their adorable, young daughter Charlotte (Sasha Rosoff: Chicago Med series, APB series) are attempting to pull together to support their patriarch, as well as decide what avenue of care is best to ensure a safe and healthy future for grandpa.

At the same time as the Braven family are struggling with the realities of aging, one of Joe’s wayward employees, Weston (Brendan Fletcher: Freddy vs. Jason 2003, Rampage 2009), is making a dangerous deal with drug-runner Hallett (Zahn McClarnon: Into the West mini-series 2005, Strike One 2014) that is almost guaranteed to go awry. When it does and the blood hits the crest of the new fallen snow, Weston and Hallett will find themselves beholden to the nefarious head of the drug ring, a nameless but cruel man (Garret Dillahunt: No Country for Old Men 2007, The Last House on the Left 2009) and his collection of minions with guns.

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Braven still.

Circumstances being what they are, the Braven family will quickly come face-to-face with the drug traders, all of the players in this action-filled puzzle meeting at a lovely little cabin in the woods to unwittingly rendezvous in the snow. Clocking in at 93 minutes in-length, Braven was directed by Lin Oeding (Blindspot series, Colony series) and drafted by first-time writers Michael Nilon and Thomas Pa’a Sibbett. The film also stars Sala Baker (The Book of Eli 2010, Iron Man 3 2013); Teach Grant (The Tall Man 2012, Supernatural series); James Harvey Ward (True Blood series, Low Winter Sun series); Fraser Aitcheson (The Flash series, Arrow series); Steve O’Connell (Republic of Doyle series, The Grand Seduction 2013); and Tye Alexander (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit series, Forgotten Pills 2010).

Braven is definitely an Action offering with Thriller elements, also peppered with drama and, of course, crime and suspense. There is guns, an old-school bow and arrow, ATVs racing through the ice, some cliff-hanging, and one rather clever use of a bear trap. Momoa was clearly meant for action roles, as he runs, dives, climbs, and jumps like a war-horse throughout the duration of the film. However, unlike so very many of his contemporaries, he is also able to embody the tender and loving role of a young father, as well as a confused and troubled son trying to do what is best for his ailing father. He anchors the entire production largely with his action skills, and yet it is Momoa’s ability to step outside the brute force action and show conflicted emotions that allows Braven to weave a tale of a family in crisis. Dillahunt, as the vile drug-lord, is wonderfully cold and calculating; he is the antithesis of his arch nemesis: stone-hearted and hell-bent on recovering his lost goods.

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Braven still.

While Braven is not exactly a fully original script, one has to admit that Action films are rarely intended to be cerebral affairs. Shot on location in the gorgeous Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, this is a film that offers some truly stunning scenery as the backdrop for its never-ceasing display of action and blood-spills which hold the viewer’s attention with ease. The ensemble cast are all wonderfully convincing in their roles, creating a tale that is believable and yet a truly harsh reality. There is a vast divide between learning how to cope with the demise of a beloved family member’s health and learning to outwit drug-runners, but Braven tackles both subjects with panache and offers up quite a few action-packed thrills to boot. For these reasons, CrypticRock give Braven 4 of 5 stars.

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Saban Films

BRAVEN OPENS ON SELECT THEATERS NATIONWIDE INCLUDING:

AMC Sunset 5, Los Angeles

Village East, New York

AMC Southlake, Atlanta

AMC Westminster, Denver

AMC Southfield, Detroit

AMC Woodridge, Chicago

AMC Studio 30, Houston

AMC Arizona Center, Phoenix

AMC Woodlands Square, Tampa

AMC Cherry Hill, Philadelphia

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Jeannie Blue
Jeannie Blue
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Jeannie likes to joke that she is little, yellow, blue, and different. She seemingly popped out of her mother's womb with a pen in her hand and has been writing ever since. Many moons ago - in what feels like a separate lifetime - Jean was co-editor of an online music magazine that afforded her great opportunities to interview and photograph some of her favorite bands/musicians: Tommy Lee, Good Charlotte, Warrant, Bring Me The Horizon, My Chemical Romance, Sevendust, New Found Glory, Deftones, Poison, VH-1 "Band On the Run" Flickerstick, an endless list of unsigned locals, and so many others. These days, she can usually be found hiking aimlessly through the woods in her favorite Technicolor sneakers with a Nikon in hand and her rescue dog, Molly, who is a bit hare-brained.

4 Comments
  • Avatar
    Mike Rules
    Posted at 08:05h, 03 February Reply

    What guns are used in this movie?

    • Jeannie Blue
      Jeannie Blue
      Posted at 01:42h, 07 February Reply

      Hi Mike, thanks for the comment! I’m sorry that I’m fairly ignorant of guns so I can’t really say – a lot of hand guns, maybe a rifle or two. That’s about all I can offer you because I am not a gun person. Sorry. 🙁

  • Avatar
    Dani H
    Posted at 01:49h, 23 February Reply

    Newfoundland and Labrador are not provinces of Canada but one province called “Newfoundland and Labrador” and abbreviated as NL. It is a truly spectacular place that I am very oroud to call my home. I think it will become a major location for filming die to it hige variety of landscapes, some looking like it’s another planet (Ophiolite Complex on theWest Coast) and Gros Mourne is jaw dropping gorgeous and a UNESCO world heritage site. We also have a viking settlement (I think another has been found as well) and St. John’s is like a piece of Europe in Canada. It’s a must-see place. Oh, the people there are thebsaltnof rhe earth and I think it’s one of the truly kind places left on earth. 🙂

    • Jeannie Blue
      Jeannie Blue
      Posted at 23:02h, 03 March Reply

      Dani, that is entirely my mistake as a stupid American and I do apologize. Thank you so much for setting me to rights, and I will edit the article right now to fix that issue. 😀 I don’t know much about NL but the photographs and visuals that I have seen are exquisite! You live in a truly beautiful place and it’s so wonderful to see someone so proud of their home! I do apologize again for the error, my bad. 🙂

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