Braven (2018) Review

Director: Lin Oeding

Genre(s): Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 94 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

IMDb Page

People don’t always watch movies for surprises and twists. Sometimes they just watch films for some predictable catharsis. Braven is one of those pictures that fits that bill. In the Canadian wilderness, some guy named Joe Braven (Jason Momoa) has to protect his family from a gang of drug runners who stashed their illegal narcotics in his vacation cabin. It’s fairly predictable, but, for those who don’t mind, it’s painless viewing.

Braven is a lean and competent actioner. Its emotional hooks, like the main character’s father, Linden (Stephen Lang), suffering from dementia and whatnot, are solid enough to get the audience invested in the carnage. The flick takes itself relatively seriously, with no postmodern winks at the viewer, which is a welcome change from many of today’s blockbusters. Jason Momoa is a better-than-serviceable action star, looking like a less vicious version of Steven Seagal.

The action and violence here are pretty much what you’d expect from a comparatively low-budget feature of this genre. There’s nothing too sustained or spectacular, but some of the kills are fairly tasty. Thanks to its limited locations, one could make the argument that this should’ve been titled “Die Hard in a Canadian Cabin” or something.

Speaking of the title, why is it called Braven? I know that that’s the main character’s last name, but were the filmmakers optimistically expecting this to be the beginning of a franchise? Well, I wouldn’t mind that, to be honest. Sure, this movie didn’t reinvent the wheel and is a little ridiculous at times, but action fans most likely won’t be bored. Hell, they’ll probably like it. Let’s see where Momoa’s career goes from here.

My rating is 7 outta 10.

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