|title: BRAVE year: 2012 voices: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson rating: *1/2|
After our frustrated heroine, Princess Merida, hits all the marks by herself, the real tale begins – and not only is it strange, awkward and confusing, but even the target-audience children might shake their heads in disbelief. Merida, in order to change her destiny, seeks a forest witch who gives her a spell. Then, back at the castle, Merida offers her mom – the person really in charge of this arranged marriage thing – a spiked muffin that quickly changes her into a… giant bear! This was unplanned; Merida wanted to change her mother, not change her mother.
The rest of the movie has the Princess keeping Mother Bear away from her huntsman father who, years earlier and as the film began, lost his leg battling a… you got it… bear. And then her three troublesome little brothers turn into bears and there’s the one big bad bear from the intro that’s part of a confusing backstory about a fallen prince.
So with all the potential of setting a movie in the time where trolls and gnomes and dragons and fairies and kings and queens and knights could have roamed the mystical Celtic countryside, we get a bunch of common bears and a stretched-out story lacking a real plot, leaving only a memory of the "trailer" that would have made a fantastic short film to open a real movie with.