A quick recap: Jodie Foster plays a New York radio-show host, Erica Bains, who is happily in love with her doctor fiance. Then one night both of them were brutally assaulted; her fiance died and Erica was left shattered emotionally. She buys a gun, and ends up a vigilante.
Terrence Howard plays a police detective whose path inevitably crossed Erica's. Both Howard and Foster gave great under-stated performance; their characters meet under horrific circumstances, and in the midst of the violence, the two connect in a real, palpable manner that felt so natural. It's nice to watch these two competent actors playing out their scenes with each other. Howard's Detective Mercer is relaxed, a little world-weary but he is holding up. He is the kind of policeman who would pursue a criminal for three years and not give up; you can see why Erica Bains would trust him -- she is just barely holding it together, and in the midst of the violence and the chaos -- Mercer is a rock.
Maybe it's just me -- in a film with so much shattering violence I look for the glimpses of compassion and humanity. My favourite part in the film is the unexpected kindness of Erica's neighbour -- an aloof, taciturn woman who never once called Erica by her name. Yet when Erica finds herself slowly disintegrating, it is this neighbour who notices, who reaches out -- and she ends up dressing Erica's injuries after a particularly severe beating.
This film is about violence and how it touches us all. Once we are marked we will never be the same again. What perhaps will save us are those very brief moments of human connection; it saves us, it redeems us.
No spoilers here -- but I didn't quite like the way the film ended -- I felt it was contrived and too convenient. In spite of its weakness, it is a good film.
Most of all for a Jodie Foster fan, it has her looking progressively hotter until her finally appearance in that edgy black leather jacket with sunglasses: She's swaggering, that animal skin she's wearing denotes her new status as hunter, that steely set on her face. In a lot of previous Foster movies her jaws are locked -- and I've made it a game to spot the throbbing veins at her neck. This is the first time I have seen Jodie Foster so self-possessed -- oh, to say the word: so butch.
It's sexy like hell.
And thanks to the kindness of a friend, I now have Jodie Foster posters to mount! Oh, I'm a happy puppy!