Four Brothers

Four Brothers


Reviewed by: Darren Amner

Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan) is a loving and caring foster parent, who for years has dedicated her life to helping and raising deliquent, underprivelidged children who society has turned its back on, giving them a place they could call home. Bobby Mercer (Mark Walhberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin) and Jack (Garrett Hedlund) are four she took a chance on. Bobby never thinks, he fights with his fists, Angel is a womanising ladies man, Jeremiah a family businessman and Jack a wannabee rock star.

After their adoptive mother is murdered during a grocery store hold-up, the brothers are re-united after many years apart and take matters into their own hands to track down her killer/s. The streets aren't the same as when they were kids - this time consequences follow their actions.

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John Singleton's (Boys N The Hood, Poetic Justice) films tend to have themes of male bonding and human emotions. Four Brothers is no different, as the boys tear up the town, asking questions by any means necessary.

The plot follows a formulaic process, featuring corrupt cops, street hoodlums and a kick-ass-take-no-names attitude. Singleton sees it as a chance to make a modern Western, especially during the shoot-out in the Mercer house, which is intense and compelling.

Wahlberg is menacing throughout, as well as convincing during scenes of loss and suffering, while Tyrese is adequate, nothing special. Hedlund shows promise - his character is the conscience of the movie, looking on as Bobby and Angel extract their own means of revenge. Benjamin is the real find. His transition from music to film is very smooth and his portrayel of the family man trying to make a better future is emotionally involving. He wants to do the right thing and punish those who have wronged, but he wants to do it properly.

The soundtrack is awesome and features old school soul and funk, from the likes of The Jackson Five and Marvin Gaye. It is nice to see Singleton shoot at a different locale to the hot sweaty streets of South Central LA, or Miami. Here, we are treated to the cold, damp, snowy streets of Detroit - actually shot in Canada - which adds character to the movie.

Overall, Four Brothers is typical Friday night popcorn fodder. Switch your brain off when you check in and enjoy the all out assault. Entertaining, as far as it goes, but instantly forgettable.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2005
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Nobody messes with the Mercers.
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John Gallagher **1/2

Director: John Singleton

Writer: David Elliot, Paul Lovett

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, Garrett Hedlund, Terrence Howard, Josh Charles Fionnula Flanagan, Sofia Vergara, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Year: 2005

Runtime: 109 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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