Brazen (2022) Review: Alyssa Milano’s Undercooked Suburban Mystery Thriller

Netflix’s seemingly crafty suburban mystery thriller Brazen isn’t everything you expect it to be. Directed by Monika Mitchell, the film is based on the 1988 novel Brazen Virtue by Nora Roberts. The film is headlined by Alyssa Milano, who plays the character of murder mystery novelist Grace Miller along with Sam Page, Barry W. Levy, Matthew Finlan, David Lewis, Emilie Ullerup and others. The film has a runtime of about 1 hour 35 minutes.

– Brazen review does not contain spoilers –

Brazen: More Of a Romantic Drama Than Mystery Thriller

The film starts with a nod to the inspiring writer Nora Roberts, as we see our protagonist, Grace Miller read an excerpt from her book titled ‘Brazen Virtue’. This subtle nod might just be the only good part of the film because what follows next looks either too rushed at places or, too slow to catch the audience’s interest.

We see Grace get a call from her sister, Kathleen after her book reading session and, she rushed to meet her in an urgency. We find out about the problems Kathleen has faced in the past and where she stands today. As Grace continues to stay with Kathleen, she meets her sister’s next-door neighbour, Detective Ed Jennings. The duo has a spark from the first time they meet as they weird yet adorably finish each others’ sentences and, later go on a date.

However, when Grace gets back home from the date, she is horrified and shattered to find her sister’s dead body. This forms the pivotal plot of our film. As Detective Ed Jennings and, his homicide department take on the case, Grace continues her own search for Kathleen’s killer. And, while on her quest, Grace is shocked to discover secrets about her sister that are dark and dangerous. Will she be able to team up with the police to uncover the truth? Well, that remains to be seen until the very end.

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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.

The film does not spend time establishing its characters properly, be it the protagonist and her actions or the suspects in the murder case. Alyssa Milano tries to manifest her inner Grace Miller but, it only comes off as nosy, unempathetic and uninteresting. Even our detectives in question hustle less and, argue about Grace’s presence in the case more. The only saving grace can be a method maniac acting scene we get from Matthew Finlan at one point and, that is pretty much it.

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A huge part of the film is also devoted to establishing the relationship between Grace Miller and Detective Ed Jennings, which in no way assists the plot and, looks like a subplot that could do live without the audience knowing the details.

Brazen: Final Verdict

Surely, Brazen has its shortcomings with its predictable, well-versed narrative. It only impresses you by being a comfort watch of the murder mystery genre where you trackback your predictions and say, ‘I told you so!’ by the end. So, for the ones looking for something like that, you can watch the 2022 film Brazen now on Netflix.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

SUMMARY

Brazen is quite the murder mystery every rookie could solve.

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