Four Brothers (DVD)
"We can't bring her back, but we can send her some company!" says Bobby Mercer (Mark Wahlberg), the oldest of the Four Brothers seeking revenge for their mother's gangland murder in John Singleton's violent thriller. Resembling a more mature spin on his 1991 debut Boyz N The Hood, this dark melodrama is notable more for its bold colour-blind casting than for its workmanlike narrative, which swiftly dissolves into a litany of brutally sadistic acts knotted together by a feeble whodunnit plot.
When Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan) is killed during a grocery store hold-up, the police chalk her up as another victim of Detroit's escalating crime wave. But hothead Bobby and his three adoptive siblings - ladykiller Angel (Tyrese Gibson), family man Jeremiah (André Benjamin) and rocker Jack (Garrett Hedlund) - think otherwise. ("It wasn't no gang shooting, it was an execution!" Bobby fumes.)
Battering, maiming and torturing their way through the city's seedy underworld, they soon realise their mom's death was down to ruthless hoodlum Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Outgunned and outnumbered, though, they'll need to stick together if they're to bring him to book.
Once you get past the novelty of its racially diverse central quartet, Singleton's dull, sluggishly paced actioner feels tediously routine as its bickering heroes get closer to their quarry. The fact that they also get closer to each other allows some flickers of human interest to punctuate the mayhem. Alas, these come with a dollop of sickly sentiment that makes this formulaic movie even more unpalatable.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
I bought this film because most DVD's I watched previewed this film and it looked good, I didn't really no much about the film except the brothers were adopted brothers who came together after their adopted mother is killed. I really enjoyed this film, yes there is violence and swearing, but other than that it is a good film of family getting together. I also had a tear in my eye in parts.
Four Brothers (DVD)
When her army officer husband is declared dead, a grieving widow grows closer to his wastrel younger brother. Intense family drama from award-winning Danish director Susanne Bier
Some wag on the Internet Movie Database website (imdb.com) cheekily branded Brothers (Brødre) "the Danish version of Pearl Harbor". Sure enough, the basic plot mechanics have much in common with Michael Bay's ludicrous Second World War melodrama: a soldier sent abroad - here Michel Lundberg (Thomsen) is a United Nations Major posted to Afghanistan - is shot down on a mission and presumed dead. The woman he loves - his wife Sarah (Nielsen) - then gets more intimate, in grief as much as love, with his younger brother, only for her husband to be found alive and returned to an awkwardly realigned domestic situation.
Happily, that's where the similarities end. If nothing else, Brothers is a telling example of how the same basic premise can morph into mawkish Mills And Boon fodder in one pair of hands, whereas, when handled with sensitivity and an acute eye, it becomes something truly persuasive and potent. Bier, whose previous release was the acclaimed Dogme 95 film Open Hearts, once again collaborates with screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen to construct a narrative that defies expectation. They consciously take familiar archetypes - the model son, the black sheep of the family, the pompous patriarch - and shake them up so they're barely recognisable.
There's little interest in creating a guessing game over Michel's fate when his helicopter is shot down in enemy territory. We're shown very quickly that he has in fact survived the crash. The film then follows both his ordeal as a prisoner, and his family's attempt to pick up the pieces, assuming him lost. As Sarah and Michael's younger brother Jannik (Lie Kaas) are drawn closer, Michel is forced to participate in a hideous act of violence. The question after his release concerns not so much his reaction to his wife and brother's burgeoning relationship, but his ability to cope with the greater trauma he suffered.
As with her earlier Dogme 95 film, Bier shows great facility with handheld camerawork, particularly in close-up, to map emotional terrain. Unrestrained by Dogme's puritan code, she's also able to compose some striking imagery - notably a shot of the helicopter crash and the mushroom cloud of black smoke it throws up. That said, this is very much an actors' film and the performances, notably from fellow Dogme 95 veterans Thomsen (the traumatised son from Festen) and Lie Kaas (from Lars Von Trier's The Idiots) are powerful. Nielsen, in her first Danish film, tries hard and is certainly given some juicy scenes, but something in her emoting rings a little untrue.
The magnitude of the POW storyline all but overpowers its domestic crisis counterpart, but overall strong performances and confident direction pull the two together to form an impressive whole; not exactly unified but certainly complementary.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
This Movie is great, and the Soundtrack is awesome. If you love Motown, the rugged classics they help this movie play out beautifully. John Singleton has always been able to show men's bonding communication or lack of in only a way he can. The four unlikely characters who are brothers are so realistic you have no doubts about their bond and family ties. It is highly entertaining. Also with Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and Andre benjamin coming from Musical backgrounds, I'm sure some would doubt their performances. No need, all performances are flawless. Mark Wahlberg has made many movies now and is settled and excels in his craft. Tyrese and Andre at the time when this was released didnt have as much experience in the movie world as they do now, they give great performances. Its enjoyable. If you enjoy ganster flicks or Street movies that are gritty, This is for you.
I loved it. Its all action wkd movie a must SEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
it is great movie sad at parts but overal awsum.The seemingly-random murder of their adoptive mother in a convenience store sends four brothers from Detroit on the path of vengeance when they uncover a tangled criminal web involving a local kingpin.
After returning to Detroit for their mother's funeral, four adopted brothers set about avenging their mother's death, though warned not to by childhood friend and investigating officer Lt. Green (Terrence Howard) who admonishes that the police must be allowed to do their job, at the great derision of Bobby Mercer..
Originally under the impression the crime was a simple "robbery-gone-wrong", the brothers soon discover that the robbery was merely a cover for what was, in fact, a "hit" put out on their beloved mother. After this revelation, Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin) and Jack Mercer (Garrett Hedlund) track down the hired guns via the alleged "witness", named Damian (Lyriq Bent) who was paid by the hitmen. Damian gave up the location of the hitmen after falling and badly injuring his leg. The brothers then approach the contract killers at a bar, which leads to an intense car chase. The assassins are eventually cornered and, refusing to say anything, are unceremoniously executed by Bobby and Angel.
The next day, Lt. Green and Detective Fowler (Josh Charles) confront the brothers about the murder. Fowler, losing his head, claims Bobby's hair was found on the victims—to which Bobby responds is "an old one (trick)"—knowing it was a lie. Lt. Green warns them once again, telling them that their snooping is ill-advised, and that it will eventually put them in over their heads.
Later in the week, Angel is informed that Jeremiah is the beneficiary of their mother's $400,000 life insurance policy and that his construction company is nearly bankrupt, facts which he had neglected to mention in any previous conversation. After further investigation by the brothers, Angel believes that Jeremiah's construction projects were shut down by the city after it was discovered he was involved with a mob boss. After presenting this information to Jack and Bobby, Jack and Bobby confront the corrupt city councilman to learn the boss' name, Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Angel, Bobby and Jack's worst fears are realized when they witness Jeremiah paying off one of Sweet's men, Evan, in a bowling alley with their mother's life insurance.