Writer: Thomas Pa’a Sibbett (Screenplay) Michael Nilon, Thomas Pa’a Sibbett (Story)
Starring: Jason Momoa, Garret Dillahunt, Jill Wagner, Stephen Land, Sasha Rossof, Sala Baker, Fraser Aitcheson
Plot: A logger defends his family from a group of dangerous drug runners.
Tagline – They threatened his world. He will destroy theirs.
Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Action 101
Story: Braven starts as we meet everyday nice guy Joe Braven (Momoa) who is caring for his aging father Linden (Lang), while having a family of his own with wife Stephanie (Wagner) and daughter Charlotte (Rossof). In an attempt to help his father with a difficult decision, Joe takes him to their remote cabin, with Charlotte sneaking along.
Joe will have to defend his family however, after a drug transport goes wrong and the drug runners use his cabin to hide their merchandise. The kingpin behind the drugs Kassen (Dillahunt) arrives in town to clean up the mistake which sees him going face to face with Joe.
Thoughts on Braven
Characters – Joe is a good man, he has always looked after his family and worked hard, he is in need of making a difficult decision regarding his father, whose mental health is getting worse. With this moment being his main focus, it isn’t long before he learns his family is in danger from drug runners and his must defend them at any cost. Kassen is the leader of the drug runners, he isn’t afraid to kill anyone who gets in his way and shows that he is the brains of the operation. He doesn’t like to leave a mess behind. Stephanie is Joe’s wife, she is the only family member not at the cabin, while he is worried about what is happening once she learns their daughter has snuck away. Linden is Joe’s father, a war veteran whose memory is going, he gets himself in trouble around town because of this, but when conflict occurs, he will show not everything in his mind is gone.
Performances – Jason Momoa in the leading role is great, he has the physical presence required for this role, while also looking vulnerable when it comes to what is happening, to make his performance complete he gets to show the emotional impact while caring for his father. Garret Dillahunt is an actor that can play the twisted villain and always has been underused in this side of films, here he gets to shine once again. Jill Wagner doesn’t get as much to do in this film but what she does do is good, while Stephen Lang brings the experience required to the film.
Story – The story here is very simple, it is a man trying to protect his family from drug runners, this is all we need for an action film at times, we do have a side story about how Joe is coping with his father’s mental state which is getting worse, which is one of the serious moments within the story. The idea that one man will take out a squad of drug runners is one we have seen before, it does work and is easy to watch from a story side of things.
Action – The action comes from the use of environment to stay ahead of an enemy, while having the typical shootouts which we have become a custom to. Nothing is overly complicated with the fights and we do know how they will end though.
Settings – The film takes place in and around a remote cabin in the snowy mountains, this provides the isolation in which a drug deal could take place, but we also get to use the environment to give Joe the advantage.
Final Thoughts – This is an enjoyable simple to watch action film, it gets everything it needs to right without going over the top at any point.
Overall: Enjoyable action.