Variety‘s Anne Thompson seems to be of two minds about Jodie Foster doing Charles Bronson in Neil Jordan‘s The Brave One (Warner Bros., 9.14). On one hand she suspects that “some” will find depictions of Foster blowing away a succession of New York-area bad guys “very uncomfortable to watch,” but on the other she finds it personally “exhilarating to watch Foster embrace a power usually only accorded to male actors.”

So who’s the “some” who might have a hard time with this film? The older and somewhat older female audience, right? And, I suppose, the teenage and twentysomething girly-girls who always squeal with laughter when they sit together in bars or at any Starbucks in any state. Guys will almost certainly have no problem with this film at all. Unless it’s a problem movie in some other way.

“Women in mainstream Hollywood dramas rarely use guns,” Thomson notes. “Outside of the action fantasy realm, they don’t kill, and if they do, it’s a crime of passion involving a husband or lover. And they don’t kill repeatedly, for revenge.

“When The Brave One debuts at the Toronto Int’l Film Festival, some will view it as a response to the countless women in film who have been assaulted by violent men, from Foster’s 13-year-old prostitute in Taxi Driver to her rape victim in The Accused, which won her the actress Oscar. In The Brave One, Foster fights back.

“I see the movie as in the great tradition of the 1970s anti-hero,” Foster tells Thompson. “Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver or Dustin Hoffman in Straw Dogs or Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. [This is a film in which] you’re led, strategically and architecturally, through each killing. Where the line is that you wouldn’t cross becomes extremely blurry.”