DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Four Brothers (2005)

A drama of revenge and brotherhood in Detroit

Published on March 19, 2006

Four Brothers (2005)
Four Brothers (2005) 
Starring:  Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, Garrett Hedlund
Studio:  Paramount Pictures
Video:  2.35:1 Widescreen Enhanced for 16:9
Audio:  DD 5.1, DD 2.0, French
Extras:  Previews (The Latham Comedy Collection; The Honeymooners; Bad News Bears; Hustle & Flow; The WeatherMan; Elizabethtown); Audio Commentary; The Look of Four Brothers (10 min); Crafting Four Brothers (11 min); Behind the Brotherhood (9 min); Mercer House Shootout (4 min); Theatrical Trailer; Deleted Scenes (9 scenes – 11 min).
Length:  108 minutes
Rating:  ***

John Singleton directed this film of revenge and brotherhood.  When Evelyn Mercer, a Detroit local who placed hundreds of children out of foster care into permanent homes, is brutally gunned down in a liquor store, the four “unplaceable” kids she raised herself come together to avenge her death.  What seems like a simple liquor store holdup on the surface is much more.  The brothers employ whatever methods they can inside and outside the law to find her killers and bring them to justice. 

Throughout the movie we see how each of the brothers deal with the death of their mother and though they have lost touch with each other over the years, they slowly grow close again.  The filmmakers made a strong effort to portray the brothers in a race/age neutral manner.  This made it possible to deliver honest dialogue and focus on the emotional ties of the characters.  The casting and character interaction—quips and putdowns fly back and forth–is one of the key elements that elevate the film above the level of a pedestrian revenge flick.

The film is shot much like a modern day Western complete with wide shots, Western-style shootouts, and characters that resemble gunslingers. The theme of brotherhood is prevalent throughout the film.  Corrupt local politics and police factor in and test the characters’ moral fiber.  A few over-the-top scenes hold it back from a higher rating, otherwise if you can suspend disbelief then assume it’s three and a half stars.

– Brian Bloom

 




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