Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) spent her entire life wanting adventure and excitement, but her mother Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) forbid such nonsense as being unqueenly. One day Merida finds a way to change her fate forever, but it comes at a price that she is unwilling to pay and she has to put a stop to what she began.
I absolutely love the premise of this movie. The first act of the film sets things up perfectly, creating a beautiful world with gorgeous landscapes and great characters that are fun to watch and see progress. And then suddenly the movie decides that it doesn’t want to be the movie it promised. It’s hard not to spoil anything about this movie because the biggest problem I have with it is the twist at the beginning of the second act. There comes a point in the story where you have to make a choice: Either you can accept what has happened and go with it or you can get upset about the fact that it’s not at all the movie it promised, in which case you are stuck with a story that’s just not very enjoyable.
Really, this movie is perfect up until the second act. At that moment, when things get really dumb, they also get really lazy. A new formation of a character comes along and it’s basically just a one-note joke that is a means to an end. I felt betrayed once I realized where they were taking the story because it’s just such a drastic change in mood and storytelling from what we had been given. In the end, the movie could have been a high-adventure, deep character-driven story for everyone to enjoy, but it turns out to be a movie meant for the youngest age group it can get into the theater and plays up the laughs in place of development and story.
Again, it’s really difficult to put into words what is wrong with this movie when I don’t want to spoil anything. The movie was originally titled “The Bear and the Bow” and that was a much more fitting title in both story and mood. In fact, why is this movie called “Brave” anyway? The movie does and says absolutely nothing about bravery. And it really doesn’t do or say anything at all for that matter. There’s no real lesson to be had other than “Listen to your parents,” and that’s just not enough to carry this movie. This is Strike Two for Pixar, after the abysmally insulting Cars 2 we got last year. Monsters University better be well worth it or they’re going to be shown as no longer being the powerhouse they once were. It’s sad, really.