Braven is a 2018 action film directed by Lin Oeding and stars a logger in Braven (Jason Momoa); a loving husband and father who finds himself in a tough dilemma caused by a hazardous troop of drug runners. The latter unexpectedly interrupt his would-be quite weekend in the snowy woods with his dad Linden (Stephen Lang) in pursuit of drugs worth a fortune and thus it is up to the muscular feller, no pun intended, to protect his home as well as his family who get pulled in to the fray.
Despite the fact that this is a low budget movie, it did not live up to what I expected of it. This is one of those films that you’d anticipate watching just by looking at the enticing poster beforehand with Jason Momoa in his grit pose but all the same, ends up being not as exciting. Nonetheless, there are some good things that I noted. The cinematography used here is great; there’s only one convincing part of the world where this movie could be possibly shot and it just had to be the forested country of Canada. Furthermore, there are a fair few heartfelt moments; Braven’s father has a mental condition as a result of a terrible accident and you could see how this had an effect on his immediate family especially Jason Momoa’s character in that they have to cope with his unpredictability. It was also nice to see the serious side to Raising Hope actor Garret Dillahunt; his role as Kassen is somewhat twisted with no mercy whatsoever to his subjects who inflict disappointment on him. However, he didn’t blow it out of the park; he lacked that villainous persona a villain ought to have and there is not a single point in the movie where I took his character seriously.
On the other side of the coin, this film took a slight sting out of my concentration right at the onset with long opening credits which were without a doubt needless. Additionally, the plot of this movie is unforgivably lethargic hence lazy screenwriting from the involved parties; the events of the first hour of the film are just a lousy setup for a lousy showdown that, in all fairness, tries to be rated-r but fails all the same. With the exception of Jason Momoa who basically carried the whole movie, the casting choices in this film can only be described in one word; abysmal. I could rant all day to prove my point but the one thing I could not slip under the rug was Stephen Wang’s character. There is no way in the world that he can pass of as Braven’s father because he doesn’t look that old; a factor the design team could have rectified with some prosthetics.
Summarily, Braven is an average movie; I wouldn’t really recommend it as a must-watch because, by all means, it’s not.