From the director of “Boyz N the Hood” and “Baby Boy” and the producer of the new hit movie “Hustle and Flow” comes “Four Brothers”.
Four Brothers is the new John Singleton flick which is based on mid 70’s action productions such as: “The Dukes of Hazzard”, “Starsky & Hutch, and “Kojak”. It is a typical action movie containing strong language and at least one gun blazing every five minutes … Thank God for action thrillers as this one is truly refreshing. It may not be as slick as Singleton’s remake of “Shaft” but it’s probably a better movie on the whole, in fact there is nothing particularly special about the movie and that’s what makes the movie so good.
“Four Brothers” begins with a pensioner (Fionnula Flanagan) getting gunned down during a convenience store hold-up in her repulsive Detroit neighbourhood. It turns out Evelyn Mercer was a social worker with a history of adopting worst-case delinquents no one else would touch; now these multiracial siblings are hell bent on revenge for their “mom’s death”.
Brothers in Arms
Bobby Mercer (Mark Wahlberg) is the oldest and effectively the leader of the four brothers, Bobby comes back to town with a whole lot of history, Angel Mercer (Model / Rapper / Tyrese Gibson) is ex-Army and ex-prison. Jeremiah Mercer (Andre Benjamin, a.k.a. Andre 3000 of OutKast) is the good son who’s married with kids and works as an investor and self announced entrepreneur. Youngest brother Jack Mercer (Garrett Hedlund) is a wannabe rock star and nervous wreck. The four brothers quickly realise the murder of their mother was not a spare of the moment event, it was a planned hit.
Three of the four brothers return back to Detroit and re-unite with Jeremiah to bury their mother. The brothers soon discover that their mother’s murder was not an unplanned job and was carried out by two hit men. The four men violently interrogate numerous amounts of people to find out who’s the person behind their mother’s murder.
The person behind the murder is a kingpin mobster named Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Sweet’s such a nasty piece of work that not only does he force a henchman (Jernard Burks) to get on the floor and eat like a dog but he also makes the henchman’s girlfriend do the same.
The movie takes a mammoth twist when events turn sour for Victor Sweet; this is so uplifting that the hairs on the back of your neck are sure to stand up. This film has a perfect balance of sadness, excitement and upliftingness.
This movie allows Wahlberg and Gibson to stand out as they play the main characters that the movie seems to revolve around. Benjamin and Hedlund are good but don’t shine mainly because they have little to do. This is a shame really as both of them are clearly talented actors. Wahlberg and Gibson both give great performances as two terrific characters. Gibson shines as Angel and Wahlberg who nails this character and then hammers the message home – nobody should second cross this man’s talent because he is an outstanding actor. Trust me.
Taraji P. Henson plays the small role of Jeremiah’s wife and Sofia Vergara plays the part of angel’s unpredictable girlfriend. “Hustle and Flow” star Terrence Howard is a sympathetic cop and friend of the family and Josh Charles plays the traitor partner of Terrence Howard.
The movie ends with a show down on a frozen Michigan lake. I loved this part particularly when Bobby appears from no where. He strides through the snow, battling the wind, to put Victor Sweet where he belongs.
Four Brothers doesn’t particularly have a thought provoking plot as it is relatively predictable. This movie’s strengths are: its impeccable characters and superb acting along with a good storyline and of course a great beginning, middle and end.
I would advise anybody to see this film. Although not a film for children it is indeed a family film. It gives a strong sense of togetherness and closeness between the brothers which truly is uplifting.
I give this film 9/10. It has an excellent storyline, tremendous acting, superb characters and of course some first-rate action scenes. This really is a must see!