Four Brothers

by December Lambeth on August 26, 2005

in Movie Reviews 

Four Brothers has energy, action, gunfights, street thugs, stunts, revenge and a very charismatic cast of four who get along like they may actually be blood brothers. Why the feelings of mild disappointment, the film needed just a little more girth behind it. Director John Singleton (“Boyz N the Hood) did his job, he pulled off all the gritty tension and street smarts that the audience could ever expect to see, but Four Brothers needed something else. It’s the storyline, too simpleton, not enough intrigue and true capacity for why their adopted mother, Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagon), was set up for an execution. It wasn’t convincing enough, that this sweet old woman who everybody in the neighborhood adored, would be shot over a little ego. This took accreditation away from Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a pretend to be on the edge hot shot thug, that turned out to be nothing more than an ego crazed looser. However, if you are out to see some true grit old western style Detroit action, then Four Brothers is the film to see.

Four Brothers
2 & 1/2 Stars

Four Brothers has energy, action, gunfights, street thugs, stunts, revenge and a very charismatic cast of four who get along like they may actually be blood brothers. Why the feelings of mild disappointment, the film needed just a little more girth behind it. Director John Singleton (“Boyz N the Hood) did his job, he pulled off all the gritty tension and street smarts that the audience could ever expect to see, but Four Brothers needed something else. It’s the storyline, too simpleton, not enough intrigue and true capacity for why their adopted mother, Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagon), was set up for an execution. It wasn’t convincing enough, that this sweet old woman who everybody in the neighborhood adored, would be shot over a little ego. This took accreditation away from Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a pretend to be on the edge hot shot thug, that turned out to be nothing more than an ego crazed looser. However, if you are out to see some true grit old western style Detroit action, then Four Brothers is the film to see.

After the death of their adopted mother, the Mercer brothers go out to seek revenge and save the memory of the tough old bird. She took in Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin) and Jack (Garrett Hedlund) after nobody else would adopt the rough and rowdy bunch. If it weren’t for Evelyn’s ability to crack the whip and straighten out four thugs, they would have ended up dead or in jail. The commentary between her and the four boys was awesome; she would slap them in the face with words about how they ate at the table, comparing tattoos and strong hand respect for others and themselves. After her funeral, hothead Bobby took the lead to find out why their mother had been shot. Off to investigate what Detroit police officers Lt Green (Terrence Howard) and Detective Fowler (Josh Charles) wasn’t able to put together with a map and their fingers on the spot, Bobby, Angel, and Jack started by watching the grocer’s video of the incident. Noticing that the thug had money in hand and the robbery was an obvious cover up, they headed after the source of it all. Knowing the streets and getting away with gang like executions, the boys never suffered any kind of consequences for their actions besides a few slaps from a short interrogation and the loss of one of their posse.

An issue of trust came about when they found out the family man of the group, Jeremiah, may have been at fault for her death. He wouldn’t deal with Victor Sweet on starting up a business, so Victor, with a city official in his pocket, had Jeremiah shut down. To keep his family safe, he had to take out his mother’s life insurance to pay the thug off and this is where Angel caught him red handed. Finding it to be all a misunderstanding, the boys join efforts for one last show down out on a lake of ice. Let’s just say that Victor ends up swimming with the fishes, and all who were involved got their just do.

Four Brothers is an action packed adventure with old time stunts not counting on CGI and a cast that rocks. What sums this film up best is the car chase, a tense ride through a blizzard that blinds and sparks flying from the rims of the car, the boys get the guys in the end and walk away to start a new life by rebuilding mom’s house.

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