Four Brothers

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Four Brothers
Review (6.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese), Jeremiah (Andre 3000) and Jack (Garrett Hedlund) are four brothers who are reunited under trying circumstances when their foster mother Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan) is murdered in what seems to be your everyday Detroit convenience store hold-up. The brothers decide to do a bit of investigating on their own to exact revenge for their dead mother but the more digging they do, the more they realize that what they are uncovering is, in fact, not just a simple case of an old lady being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The boys realize that her murder is part of a deceptive plot involving politicians, police, a local crime lord and a few other surprises. What follows is a modern day old western where guns and violence rule the streets and law and order seem to be almost an afterthought.

Four Brothers, directed by John Singleton, is one of the most violent movies, from beginning to end, that I have seen in quite some while. Within the first five minutes of the movie, there are two people dead and the killing doesn't stop until the last few minutes of the movie. It really isn't that bad of a movie, but you have to get past the fact that the "four brothers" probably should have died or got arrested within the first half hour of the movie. These guys walk around one of the toughest neighbourhoods in one of the toughest cities in the entire U.S.A., waving around guns, slapping around gangstas and acting like they are living in the wild, wild west and emerge with nary a scatch (well, that isn't entirely true but if you see the movie, you'll know what I mean). And one question that continuously popped into my head throughout the movie - where the hell are were the police? I mean, they run around, flashing weapons at basketball games, in bars, at bowling alleys, have car chases around the entire city and particpate in a fifteen minute long shoot out right in the middle of a residential area and the police are nowhere to be found? And when they do finally show up to the shootout at the OK Corral where a handful of dead bodies litter the streets, they are just kind of like, "Okay boys, have a good day." It's really confusing.

Nevertheless, if you are able to suspend any ounce of reality, you will probably find Four Brothers to be moderately entertaining. It's got a few relatively decent perfomances - Walhberg, Tyrese and Andre 3000 are all decent, as is Terrence Howard as a cop and Chiwetel Ejiofor (he was in Love Actually?) as the badass Victor Sweet. Some of the action scenes are quite intense, as ludricrous as they may be. The story is a bit complicated and twisted and that makes the "guessing" part of the movie all that more interesting.

All in all, Four Brothers, despite being probably one of the most "unbelievable movies that is supposed to be believable" ever made, is a decent matinee-type movie and probably even a better rental. If you want to see lots of guns, tonnes of violence, a handful of dead bodies and Mark Wahlberg and Tyrese trying to convince us they can play hockey, then Four Brothers is the movie for you. I wouldn't say I loved this movie but it was okay and okay isn't always a bad thing.

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