Braven Review
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If there’s one thing that Liam Neeson’s action movies have taught us, it’s that the sweetest, most lovable family men can turn absolutely ruthless when it comes to defending their families. And in Braven, when a man’s family is in danger, he stops at absolutely nothing to protect them.

stars Jason Momoa as Joe Braven, a logger who’s just returned home to his family after five days in the forest. But what’s waiting for him isn’t just rest and relaxation. His father (Stephen Lang) is slowly losing memories, becoming more and more confused. And after he starts yet another bar fight, the local police tell Joe that something needs to be done. But when he takes his dad out to their cabin in the woods to discuss their options, they end up caught in the middle of a drug deal gone horribly wrong.

In the beginning, Braven seems to be a drama about a hard-working man who’s forced to makes some difficult decisions about his loved ones. Momoa may be big and buff and tattooed and known for his tough guy roles, but he also seems perfectly at home in his role as the big, burly family man—much like Dwayne Johnson, but without the big, goofy grin. And he makes the dramatic parts of the film believable and even touching.

But this isn’t just a drama about a guy and his family—and as the pieces begin to come together, it transforms into a tense standoff in the woods as Joe and his dad find themselves caught between a drug runner and his product. Of course, Jason Momoa and Stephen Lang are both pretty tough guys—so it’s no surprise that they fight back. But the whole thing eventually escalates into an over-the-top action free-for-all—a blur of gunfire and arrows and flying axes. (Yep—I said flying axes.)

At some point, you may stop to wonder where these guys got their training and their stock of weapons—but, by that point, those picky little details don’t really matter. Gone is the drama of the film’s earlier scenes, replaced by some wild action and sometimes shocking violence.

Braven starts out much like a Liam Neeson movie, but just as Neeson and Momoa are very different stars, Braven is a different kind of action movie, eventually building into something big and crazy and full of surprises. Though it definitely has its flaws, the mix of likable characters and larger-than-life action makes it an entertaining thriller.

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