Four Brothers is an Action film, which was originally released in 2005, and was directed by John Singleton (Boyz In The Hood). The screenplay was written by David Elliot and Paul Lovett, and has a running time of 109 minutes. The movie has a cast of Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin, Garret Hedlund, Terrence Howard, Chiwetel Ejiofar, Josh Charles, Taraji P. Henson and Sofia Vergara. This is Number Four in the ‘500 Films A Year Challenge’.
Some movie trailers easily catch in your mind. They may not be the best trailers, but something about them, repeat in your memory. For me, especially, I will often see movies in a shop or on Sky, and I will instantly remember the movie trailer from when it first came out. Not all of the trailer, but I will remember something, that inevitably jumped out at me, and got my attention. Four Brothers is one of these movies. In 2005, when the trailers were first released, I would have been fifteen (15) years of age at the time, and would most likely have seen the trailer on TV. With this movie, it seems likely I would have noticed the difference in the main four actors, two white actors, and two black actors, and would have been curious at how that would work. Of course, nowadays, it would be obvious, adoption, but back then, it was a brief thought. I had no idea at the time who the four actors were, whereas now, I not only know the four actors, but can easily mention at least two films or TV shows they would have appeared in. A year ago, a friend of mine was selling all of his DVDs for a £1 each, and I leaped upon this opportunity, buying about sixty (60) DVDs at least. One of them, was Four Brothers, and this time, whilst I instantly remembered the trailer, it was the tagline that tempted me: “They came home to bury Mum…and her killer.” Bought it, and finally, on the 3rd January, I watched the film.
This movie relies upon the relationship between the four adopted brothers, Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), the eldest and leader of the four; Jeremiah (André Benjamin), the clean-cut neighborhood hero, who stayed close to his Mum; Angel (Tyrese Gibson), the romeo and ex-soldier of the group; and Jack (Garrett Hedlund), a musician and the baby brother of the four, teased affectionately by his brothers throughout. If we are unable to buy into them as being brothers, then the entire premise falls flat. Thankfully, the four of them are amongst the strength of the movie, their camaraderie comes across as quite strong and genuine, with funny, natural dialogue between the four of them. In fact, I read afterwards that Wahlberg and Hedlund ad-libbed several of the dialogues between them, which I can actually believe, and feel it enforces the legitimacy of the relationship too. It also helps that Miss Evelynn (Fionnula Flannagan), their adoptive mother, is very likable when we first meet her, she comes across as intelligent, strict but loving. There is even an early dinner table scene where the four brothers have Christmas dinner together, and all imagine individual moments with their Mum. This scene was probably my favorite of the movie, as it was heart-warming to see these strong, manly men, reminisce over the mother that cared so much for them.
In fact, it almost seems like a step down, when the film enters the revenge section, and the brothers try to discover who killed their Mum. Almost, thankfully, the revenge section is mostly fun, with the rapport between the brothers continuing, with some cracking dialogue stealing supposed violent scenes. The movie also has a strong supporting cast, with Terrence Howard, Josh Charles, and the fantastic Chiwetel Ejiofar challenging the four brothers. Ejiofar, in particular, as Victor Sweet, is instantly powerful and terrifying in his first appearance, radiating the ability to act without consequences, and he offers a believable antagonist for the brothers to struggle against in their attempt for vengeance. Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) also has a small role, as Romeo’s lover, but at times, she unfortunately comes as annoying and detrimental to the brothers, with one or two of her scenes leaving me shaking my head in annoyance.
The simplicity of the plot lends itself to creating a solid B-Movie, this isn’t a movie made for Oscars or Critical acclaim, but it is fun, with strong performances and an emotionally-driven plot that does pull you in just enough to care. To my surprise, I not only liked it, but immensely enjoyed it.
Thumbs up, and a 6/10.
Next up, we journey to Middle-Earth, as a creature of comfort sets out on a journey to the mountains.