Of all the genres that thrived in the 1970s, probably the least distinguished is the revenge movie. Think of Walking Tall or Charles Bronson in Death Wish as the archetypes: at their worst, these movies gave us bad guys so horrifyingly vile that we were eencouraged to cheer as our "hero" eventually turned the tables and slaughtered them.
Kevin Bacon’s Death Sentence, based on a book from the author of the original Death Wish, is already in theaters. Now this week brings, of all people, Jodie Foster as a vigilante who, prompted by the beating death of her fiance, wanders the streets of Manhattan looking for dirtbags to blow away.
During a press conference at the Toronto International Film Festival, Foster defended The Brave One to questioners who wondered how she saw this as different from a standard exploitation movie.
She called it "a terribly sophisticated movie that lives in a very unsophisticated genre….There’s so much ambivalence in the characters, such an interior life in the film. I love having the combination of those two things, where it’s a mainstream movie, where people will connect in a general way, and yet it’s a think man’s film."
Asked how it differed from the likes of Death Wish, she evoked the film that was her first big success. "I think a better comparison from the 70s is Taxi Driver or some of the other anti-hero films that we all loved, like Straw Dogs….You may not agree with [these characters] or like them, but this is how they are and this is how they feel."
You can see the complete press conference online here.Read More