Review: Braven

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

PLOT: A family man logger (Jason Momoa) and his dad (Stephen Lang) travel into the woods to close up their cabin for the winter, only to discover a huge supply of heroin has been stashed there, and its owners have come back to collect.

REVIEW: BRAVEN is Jason Momoa’s Steven Seagal movie. A tidy, low-budget actioner, it’s tailor-made for Momoa to show off his chops in a low-key way, and seems well-timed to take advantage of his potential break-out title role in AQUAMAN (even if JUSTICE LEAGUE didn’t quite do the trick).

The feature directorial debut of stunt coordinator Lin Oeding, there’s nothing too original about BRAVEN, but it’s proficient enough at the action beats that genre fans who keep their expectations in check should have a good enough time with it. More of a two-hander than the trailer lets on, co-star Stephen Lang has almost equal time with Momoa, and actually plays the more compelling part. Gradually succumbing to dementia, this retreat is a way for his son to broach the idea of assisted living, something the fiercely independent father has no intention of giving into – but what other option does our hero have, with the older man constantly getting into fights his brawler son has to bail him out of.

While that aspect is old-hat, there are other things that are less familiar about BRAVEN that I liked. For one thing, father and son use old-school weapons, like bows and edged weapons to defend themselves, making the hand-to-hand scraps fairly brutal. I also like that the townsfolk aren’t portrayed as total idiots, with the Sheriff and his deputy actually doing their best to help rescue father-and-son, while Momoa’s wife (Jill Wagner) also heads into the mountains with a bow in hand to try and rescue her family. It’s not just Momoa taking on a bunch of baddies – he has some help.

It’s all wrapped up in an efficient ninety minutes or so, and while it’s too low-budget to ever really break out in a big way, BRAVEN makes for an entertaining streaming watch on a Sunday afternoon. One suspects that’s what it was made for – and fair enough. Taken on those merits it works just fine.





Viewer Ratings (0 reviews)

Add your rating


About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.