By Michael Moriarty
He, the hero of Braven?! (available only on Netflix)
He certainly is a “Brave-un”!!
An Indisputably Canadian Hero,
To begin with, the opening credits are against breathtaking cinematography by Brian Andrew Mendoza!
The opening is the most seductive-looking glimpse of Newfoundland I’ve ever experienced!
The coastline and what might very well be Gros Morne National Park.
In the Winter!
And the score by Justin Small and Ohad Benchetrit?
In a perfect balance for what is to come.
This is my second viewing and Braven, for students of film, certainly deserves more than one look.
The director is also an American: Lin Oeding; and, as he himself has said, “When I saw photos (of Newfoundland) it was an easy decision and a no-brainer.”
He and the producers are obviously, by now, in love with Canada’s beauty! Her winters, however, as the cast and crew of this film have admitted, can be, to put it politely, quite intimidating.
The indisputable visionary of the film is a most impressive leading man and principle producer, Jason Momoa.
He was born in Hawaii!
Nothing could be further from Hawaii than a winter in Newfoundland, Canada!!
Apparently he has, by now, a certain affection for Canada which may have more to do with film budgeting than an actual love affair. This film, however, Braven, is a love song to Canada, and Canadian manhood!
Our introduction to the hero’s family?!
Expertly brief vision of an impressively happy and healthy couple and their impressively healthy and happy daughter.
We are obviously, as an audience, in very efficient and experienced hands.
What could go wrong?!
Our hero runs a logging company and one of his drivers is, well, charming but, upon this closer, second look at his entrance, also shifty and worrisome.
How the weather cooperated so well with the production is almost miraculous: all of it suitably forbidding!
As it should be.
Our once charming driver meets up with a villainously distasteful “connection” who is now pulling off a drug-delivery.
Our obviously inexperienced “bad guy” and driver is so uncomfortable with this new addition to the drama, he accidentally crashes his truck.
How are they going to
The amateur bad-guy/driver makes his second, big mistake: he suggests they walk to a cabin he knows about nearby and hide the drugs there for a while.
That cabin, however, is owned by our hero!
“He has no reason,” says our increasingly stupid, know-nothing villain, “to be visiting his cabin!”
Here’s where the subplot does exactly what it’s supposed to do: cross violent paths with the main plot.
Our hero’s father-in-law, whom our hero watches over as if he were his own father, has been going a little crazy and getting not only himself in trouble but our hero as well.
The attending physician suggests Braven put the old man in a rest home.
That, of course, is out of the question for our hero.
Instead, Braven wants to have a frank and long conversation with his father-in-law to apprise him of the worsening situation with the father-in-law’s mental condition.
What better place to do it in than “The Cabin”?!
Here, of course, is where a whole platoon of truly “professional bad guys” show up.
From here on, it’s fairly but suitably predictable what is going to happen.
Our expectations, as an audience, are high!
They aren’t disappointed.
The final scene is a breath-stopping action sequence that, so far, knows no equal for both irony and action-film novelty.
Needless to say, get to Netflix and see it!
As I’ve already suggested, I hope there is, at least, one more Tale of Braven in the offing.
God bless Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa!
And, of course, God bless Canada!
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at email@example.com. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.