(Jason Momoa, Zahn McClarnon, Jill Wagner, Stephen Lang, et al / Blu-ray+Digital / R / 2018 / LGF)
Overview: Jason Momoa stars in this intense action-thriller about a logger fighting for survival against drug traffickers who have stashed heroin in his hunting cabin.
Blu-ray Verdict: In 'Braven', Jason Momoa ('Aquaman') plays the robust owner of a logging company, Joe Braven. And with that, the title of this film is explained from the onset.
Joe is a good-hearted man who's concerned about the welfare of his employees. He's a true family man who truly loves his wife Stephanie (Jill Wagner) and adores his daughter Charlotte (Sasha Rossof). And then there's his father Linden (Stephen Lang) who shows signs of Alzheimer's; in ways such as he still thinks strange women are his dead wife.
And that's the source of misery. The moment Joe decides to go to their isolated mountain cabin with his father to discuss possible options, he doesn't realize that some obscure drug gang is using his hut as a storage for a significant amount of drugs.
One thing certainly isn't missing in 'Braven' is the huge amounts of predictability. The fact that Joe and his father are present the moment this drug gang tries to recover their goods isn't exactly a huge plot surprise.
Also Joe's daughter, Charlotte belonging to that group of stubborn teenage daughters, is something you could expect. And that stubbornness also kicks in at the least favorable moment, so Charlotte is also present during the confrontation.
Not problematic enough yet? Trust me, Joe's wife Stephanie also has a membership card from the club "wives-who-always-show-up-at-the-wrong-time". Fortunately, Stephanie excels in the Olympic discipline of archery.
There are also a lot of what-the-hell moments. Father Braven suffers from delusions and forgets a lot, but appears to function well when he's under pressure. Fortunately he wasn't delirious during the confrontation and started to think that one of the gang members was his son. Because that would have been rather problematic!
I also found the fact that a hair band gave Kassen immediate insight; rather impressive. And then there was that nonchalant thrown down knife. Hold on tight. Although this was an immense forest, the one who it was intended for actually found it!
Rather ridiculous, sure, especially when you see the same guy bumping into a tree just before that. After which he looks at it in a surprised way, thinking, "What's this tree doing here in this forest ...". Hilarious.
That all said, 'Braven' isn't really bad, but you won't be blown away by this clichéd action movie either. Even the use of an axe on fire, won't get you ecstatic. Ultimately, you can only conclude that thousands of such films have already been made.
To finish on a positive note, Garret Dillahunt can join the group of most intriguing bad guys in film history. A cruel person who smashes someone's head and looks at everyone with an apathetic gaze = a psychopathic figure if ever there was. (PP) This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
“The Braven’s Views” Featurette