Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Four Brothers": very different from "Brothers", and dangerously believable as a mob story


After seeing “Brothers” this December, I got curious about “Four Brothers”, which is an action crime thriller that brings four adoptive Mercer brothers together to “solve” the convenience-store assassination of their mother in Detroit. (The script, in that scene, turns existential, as the robbers say they will take from others what they weren’t lucky enough in life to have.) The brothers are played by Marky Mark Wahlberg, Minnesota-born Garret Edlund, Tryese Gibson, and Andre Benjamin. Two of the adopted brothers are African-American. Terence Howard (fresh off of “Hustle & Flow” and “it’s hard out here for a pimp”) plays Lt. Green.

The Paramount film (August, 2005) is directed by John Singleton. Detroit is shown effectively, in grimy snow, with much of the city burned down. Some of the film was shot in Ontario, however.

There is a scene early where the brothers open the mother’s safe deposit box and find the will and life insurance (it’s not quite like John Knowles’s “Reading of the Will”), and pretty soon they are reviewing the convenience store security tape of the killing, which they conclude is a hit, with the police not willing to take it beyond a typical robbery. The plot becomes complicated by the fact that one of the brothers (Jeremiah, played by Andre) was named as a beneficiary of the life insurance policy, and that his construction company was going broke over bad dealings with the mob. There follows a series of battles and shoot-outs with enormous firepower and assault weapons, killing Jack (Edlund), the youngest, and then accusations. There’s even an “ice fishing” scene.

Great line: “My mother raised me to be a thinking man.”

The plot has the "hum-dinger" nature that might be similar to what eventually explains the a horrific crime against a family near Pensacola FL last year.

It’s reported that there will be a sequel called “Five Brothers”.

I don’t think you can really say that the idea came from the “brothers” of “Supernatural.”

Wikipedia attribution link for NASA photo of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

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