BRAZEN (2021) Reviews of Netflix web cam murder mystery

 

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Brazen is a 2021 American romantic murder mystery thriller film about a writer investigating the killing of her sister.

Directed by Monika Mitchell (Witness; Break a Leg; John Apple Jack; The Knight Before Christmas) from a screenplay co-written by Suzette Couture, Donald Martin and Edithe Swensen based on the 1988 novel Brazen Virtue by Nora Roberts. Produced by Stephanie Germain.

The Mandalay Pictures-Puji Films-Vinik Productions movie stars Alyssa Milano (Charmed), Sam Page, Malachi Weir, Barry W. Levy, Colleen Wheeler, Lossen Chambers and Matthew Finlan.

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Plot:

Prominent mystery writer and crime expert, Grace (Alyssa Milano), hurries back to her family home in Washington, D.C. because her estranged sister summons her.

When her schoolteacher sister is killed and her double life as a webcam performer named Desiree is revealed, Grace ignores the warnings of cool-headed detective Ed (Sam Page) and gets involved in the case…

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Reviews:

“It’s a tragedy that brings two people together romantically where the one affected directly by the tragedy doesn’t seem bothered during the epilogue […] Accounting for that, idiotic characters, telegraphed motives and twists, consistent overacting throughout, and well, it doesn’t take much of a detective to figure out Brazen is terrible.” Flickering Myth

“The writer’s book must be as lousy as Brazen‘s script, as discussed at their first date. Anyhow, the killer is pretty obvious from the beginning, but it takes a whole movie for them to find out. Funnily enough, the police captain allows the random writer to participate in the police investigations.” Geocapital

“Look, if you loathe Lifetime movies or the very familiar “twists and turns” of most Christmas movies, then Brazen is not for you. However, we’re approaching this movie for what it is; A crime thriller that utilizes familiar tropes and stereotypes, but with a kitsch and honest approach. As such, Brazen is a surprisingly entertaining experience that is definitely worth your time.” Heaven of Horror

Brazen does not have a lot to offer. It is the same old pasta recipe served cold and, with an unnecessary spice of kink and romance. If you are attentive enough, you can even predict who can potentially be Kathleen’s killer even before she is killed and, that usually takes the fun away from a murder mystery- when you just instinctively know who it is without any incriminating proof.” Leisure Byte

“Despite its qualities, you’re never unaware of Brazen’s limitations. Even though it tries to throw in several red herrings, it quickly becomes obvious who Kathleen’s killer is. Ultimately that doesn’t actually matter, though. Because while it constantly teeters on the edge of being too cheesy, Milano’s presence and Mitchell’s direction, especially in its final act, means that Brazen is always at least watchable.” The National News

“Chock-full of tropes and status quo gender dynamics […] Brazen occasionally scratches the same itch as does a cop procedural, or a Lifetime drama so formulaic you foresee every beat. It is perhaps fitting, then, that the film is rarely suspenseful; I, for one, guessed the killer from the opening scenes, and I haven’t written even a single mystery novel.” The New York Times

“If you can read a signpost you’ll have worked out who the killer is a long time before the big reveal, which is great if you just want to sit back and watch how silly the finale gets without worrying about following the plot. If only Mitchell had set Brazen at Christmas, she could have had a cult classic on her hands…” NME

“In a way, the expert if generic gloss lent that material by telepic veteran Mitchell and her collaborators heightens its fun, whether in ways intended or not. Hitting every expected narrative and tonal mark on cue, this may be an ostensible serial-killer thriller, but the only thing Brazen here is the film’s dedication to a particular kind of viewing comfort food.” Variety

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Release:

Brazen is streaming on Netflix from January 13th 2022.

Choice dialogue:

Grace [Alyssa Milano]: “No, no, no. If you had read any of my books you’d know that they are about the exploitation of women. And misogyny. And the patriarchy. And how we do so very little to protect the most vulnerable.”

Cast and characters:

Alyssa Milano … Grace
Sam Page … Ed
Colleen Wheeler … Senator Baxter
Malachi Weir
Lossen Chambers … Stacey White
Matthew Finlan … Jerald Baxter
Barry W. Levy … Paul Morgan
Aaron Paul Stewart … Billy
Will Verchere-Gopaulsingh … Male Student
Jack Armstrong … Richie
Leslie Kwan … Forensics
Michael Q. Adams … Priest

Technical details:

1 hour 36 minutes

Original titles:

Deadly Desires

Trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA says:

Brazen is a fairly bland by-the-numbers murder mystery with little or no suspense and a pointless romantic subplot but it’s nowhere near as bad as some reviewers have made out. Some viewers may appreciate the amusing – and perhaps inevitable – plot device of having Alyssa Milano’s characters go undercover as a fetish cam lady.

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