Urban Cinefile
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated December 18, 2014 - Editions No 928, 929, 930, 931 

Search SEARCH FOR A REVIEW
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Newsletter Options - Registration is FREE Help/Contact

FOUR BROTHERS

SYNOPSIS:
When 62 year old Evelyn Mercer (Fionulla Flanagan) is shot dead during a store robbery in suburban Detroit, her four adopted sons come home for her funeral. Impetuous Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), hard-edged Angel (Tyrese Gibson), family man and businessman Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin), and young Jack (Garrett Hedlund) are devoted sons who know she saved them from a dead end life. They get an inkling that her death was not what it seems, and set about tracking down those responsible, without consulting Lt Green (Terrence Howard) of the local police, or his sidekick Fowler (Josh Charles). All the clues lead to local crime boss Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who has his tentacles into every aspect of local activity, cops included. But the four brothers are too angry to be scared - until Sweet brings in his goons with guns.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's down to action business for John Singleton in this suburban crime tragedy, delivering maximum grunt with an emotional payload certain to carry the film deeper into our hearts than any gang war might. Mum is the key, a dear, white haired white lady who is a legend in her predominantly black neighbourhood, noted for taking in the flotsam of kids who have been abandoned, orphaned or lost by family and society.

Four of them she could never pass on to foster homes, such was their determination to be wicked. But now as adults, they dote on her and remember her as their saviour. The mawkishness is held at bay just enough to lend a sense of gravitas to the violent scenario as the four brothers get together to avenge her shooting.

From this simple premise and straight forward characters, Singleton builds an effective crime thriller, ensuring we associate with the right sort of crim for his purposes. The good crims (mainly the four brothers but not only) are as ethnically split as the bad crims, so the film can work both commercially and socio-politically. All the same, the atmos and tone is backstreet black, and the film is none the worse for that.

Tight and resolutely genre specific, Four Brothers delivers what as a Hollywood product it promises and holds our attention with its classy craftsmanship.



Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FOUR BROTHERS (M)
(US, 2005)

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, Garret Hedlund, Terrence Howard, Josh Charles, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sofia Vergara, Fionulla Flanagan

PRODUCER: Lorenzo di Bonaventura

DIRECTOR: John Singleton

SCRIPT: David Elliot, Paul Lovett

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Menzie jr

EDITOR: Bruce Cannon, Billy Fox

MUSIC: David Arnold (and Ed Shearmur)

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Keith Brian Burns

RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 10, 2005

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount

VIDEO RELEASE: March 2, 2006

UPCOMING EVENT
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta, Sydney.

Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2014