‘Brave’ review.

After a strong start introducing the main characters, in particularly the wonderfully animated Merida, Pixar’s Brave stumbles and tumbles through an appalling screenplay.

It was a surprising choice by screenwriters Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi to take the path they chose.  How could 4 people get it so wrong?
I feel the film would had maintained its strength, if the focus had stayed on the drive and determination of Merida to make it in the world, as her own woman.  No ‘spells’ necessary, no ‘animal intervention’ required.

Merida’s animation, it must be said, it really fantastic.  It’s one of the more finer and detailed character creations by Pixar.  The choice of voice artists are pitch perfect, with particular reference to Billy Connolly who completely inhabited the monstrous Fergus (or rather is Fergus inhabiting him), and Emma Thompson always splendidly delivering her lines.

Brave is also surprisingly scary. The audience I viewed the film with found many scenes frightening, mainly because of the loud and ferocious sound elements.  It’s definitely not a film for someone under 8 years old to view.  There were only a handful of laugh out loud moments – mainly when characters fell over or pulled funny faces.

The main issue for me is that I didn’t care if Merida was able to ‘rescue’ her mother.   The initial premise set up that Merida’s mother was overpowering, someone not in touch with her daughter’s feelings or expectations at all.  So to have her as the central device didn’t work for me.   Perhaps with 4 different writers on this film there were too many ideas.  Each wanted their own style, which instead delivered a mess of a film.

Score:  1.5 /5
‘Brave’ directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell.

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6 comments

  1. Amen…..After having seen Madagascar 3-D the previous week, this film left so much to be desired…not recommended at all

  2. Frankly, I loved the film. Every Pixar film can’t top the previous one. It’s just a wonderfully crafted movie. Funny, touching, scary, beautiful. It’s a shame Pixar is held up to such scathing standards that when they simply do a really good movie it receives a negative review.

  3. I agree with this review, although I think a 1.5 out of 5 is a bit harsh. The movie went straight downhill with the “spells”. No reason not to continue the story as it was.

  4. I’m sorry but you’re review shows poor judgement. That’s like saying, well, you know, Scarlet O’hara shouldn’t have waited so long to sell her house. Anyone can make up their own Monday Morning quarterback narrative. Brave was an outstanding movie and it captures the development of Merida from an immature girl not acknowledging her mistakes, to one who finds her path and maturity. If you have ever been to Scotland it is a magical place, filled with castles, loch ness monster etc. That is what made Highlander so successful. So I thought the magical setting was just right.

  5. I walked out because it was really boring. It seemed promising , but after 30 minutes it was like watching a very very slow train wreck.

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