Before watching Braven, I expected it to be just another action movie where a cat and mouse game goes. It proved me absolutely correct; there is nothing interesting to the idea or story. You see Jason Momoa taking against a ruthless gang of drug dealers.
But, to make the audience at least stick till the watch time; the director Lin Oeding has added some family drama and a ton of empathy to the Braven family. These are the only elements that support the movie and don’t let it fall. Additionally, Jason Momoa’s character of Joe Braven uses his old school survival skills against the gang; it gives an essence of uniqueness.
Till the first half, the story is most interesting where Joe’s father Linden deals with a critical mental condition whereas the audience also smells a hazard coming in their lives. The second half is only events based; nothing takes a turn or a twist.
When you witness the gang’s leader Kassen’s ruthlessness where he punishes people to the death, a huge conflict builds into your mind about how Joe Braven is going to take down Kassen and his boys along with his old and sick father.
The initial minutes of the movie show you the bond in the family. It shows how much Joe loves and cares his wife, little daughter and his sick old father. And, when you witness a merciless gang going to ruin their lives, you get engaged in the movie and can feel the family’s side; it has been done impressively in the movie.
You enjoy the screenplay because of the drama initially and later when Joe and his dad hunt the bad guys from their cabin. There are a few intense moments too; one is where Joe tries to make her little daughter safe and other one is where a bullet kisses Linden’s head.
I won’t say that the action was its best, but it was really entertaining. From the bad guys’ side you see all those automatic and sniper rifles, and from Joe side you see him using bow and arrow, smart traps, fearlessness and especially throwing him axes. All this makes the action fascinating.
Cinematography of Braven is really impressive for the genre. It is set in the snowy region of Blue Mountains; the place is empty and quite, so it automatically adds thrill when someone is being hunted there.
Jason’s character is soft-hearted from inside but tough from outside; he has portrayed both his personalities really well.
Garret Dillahunt as a villain impresses you the most by his attitude, not by the performance.
There is a huge complain I have with the director and writer. In the movie when Kassen asks Joe for the rest of the drugs, Joe tells him to wait and kills one of his men right after. Only a bag of drugs is shown in the movie which Joe gives to the drug dealers, don’t know why he agrees and tells to give them another. And, even if there were some drugs left with him, he should have given them instead of calling war.
RATING – 6/10
Concept – 5/10
Story – 5/10
Screenplay & Direction – 7/10
Connectivity – 8/10
Acting – Good
Cinematography – Awesome
After finishing a day at the work, a logger named Joe Braven goes home after a few days. Upon reaching home, he and his family have fun with snowballs. At the night, Joe’s father Linden leaves the house and get into a bar where he assaults a young girl due to his mental condition. Joe gets to the place hastily and saves his father from being beaten. They get him to the hospital where the police leave his father with a final warning.
The family is told by the doctor that Linden has been critically ill and they shouldn’t allow him to leave the house. While talking, Linden is so ill that he doesn’t even recognize his granddaughter Charlotte.
Meanwhile, one of Joe’s co-workers Weston gets involved in a drug deal. While carrying the drugs to its place, the truck gets an accident. Weston with his crime partner hides the drugs into Joe’s cabin and plans to give it to the crime lord Kassen in the next morning.
At the night, broken Joe and his wife Stephanie discuss about their father where Joe doesn’t want to jail him inside the house. After his father gets discharged, he takes him to their cabin in Blue Mountains where the both have a chat about Linden’s illness. Meanwhile, Joe stumbles upon a bag filled with drugs and soon he sees a few cars at the place. Moreover, Joe’s little daughter also comes to the place.
Kassen orders his boys to kill Joe and his father and get his property; Weston convinces him to stop but Kassen denies. Joe goes out and gives the bag to Kassen where he ruthlessly shoots Weston. Kassen asks him for the remaining drugs; Joe tells him to wait and goes in. While one of the goons looks inside the cabin, Joe shoots an arrow into his head whereas his father knocks a few goons by his sniper rifle.
Joe takes an exit from the place with his daughter on a mountain bike. While being haunted by Kassen, Joe leaves his daughter at a safe place and tells him to reach home. When getting back to the cabin, Kassen shoots Joe and he falls down. He sends one of his goons but Joe traps and kills him.
Meanwhile, Charlotte contacts her mom Stephanie and tells her about the incident. She calls the police and tells them to send help hastily.
Joe reaches back to the cabin where he finds that his father has been hit by a bullet. By his survival skills, Joe takes down a few more goons. (Spolier) However, Kassen gets to his father and kills him. When one of the thugs is about to shoot Joe, his wife shoots an arrow and saves him. Joe chases Kassen and pushes him down from a hill (/Spolier).