Monday, June 04, 2007

Jodie Foster IS: "THE PUNISHER!!!!"

So much of Jodie Foster's acting career has been defined by the concept of "strong women" characters - not "strong" in the character sense but in the literal: She specializes in "you ain't gonna push me around just cuz I'm female AND teeny-tiny!" roles, and it's mostly paid off for her... well, okay, "Contact," "Anna & The King" and "Flightplan" all really, really, really, REALLY sucked... but she's not that bad in most of them.

Unfortunately for her, no novelty (even those backed up by actual talent) lasts forever. In a movie-world where 'tuff-chicks' are now a Hollywood staple and every other week is bringing us a new Lara Croft, Elektra, G.I. Jane, Ultra-Violet, Storm, Trinity, Domino, etc; a movie-world where the women of "Kill Bill," "Crouching Tiger" or "Dead or Alive" are vaulting through the air killing armies armed men with a single sword... well, these days simply donning an asexual pantsuit, minimal makeup, a "business-bob" haircut and delivering all your lines in a clipped "loud-whisper" just doesn't seem like as much of a revolutionary act as it used to.

I'd posit this situation has more than a little something to do with how little we see of Foster these days, and almost everything to do with some of the baffling "action grrrrl" parts we HAVE seen her in: Just a little over a year ago, she was making a fool of herself in the Die Hard knockoff, "Flightplan," and now we have the eye-poppingly cheesey trailer for the awful-looking "The Brave One," which finds Foster in - I shit you not - an unofficial remake of "Death Wish" in the Charles Bronson role of an ordinary person turned into a gun-toting, mugger-slaying vigilante who ends the trailer by pointing a gun right at the camera, spitting out a catchphrase and firing into a white-screen fadeout. No, seriously, that's what happens. Take a look:

"Yeah... I WANT MY DOG BACK!!!!" BLAM! You gotta be freakin' kidding me. Lookout, criminal scum! Nell's comin' to kick your ass!