Four Brothers Movie Review

Mark Wahlberg is perfectly cast in "Four Brothers" as an angry, scruffy Detroit greaseball who returns home for the first time in years to avenge his foster-mother's murder during a convenience store robbery.

While not an actor known for his emotional range, here his soft-featured scowl embodies resounding heartbreak without giving an inch on the kind of toughness and bravado that makes his character a loose cannon. How loose? He even tells the investigating cops (one an old friend played by the sublime Terrence Howard) who come to pay their respects that "I'm not here for the funeral."

Reunited with his three brothers -- fellow former delinquents adopted by the kindly but adamant Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan), and played by Garrett Hedlund ("Troy") and talented rappers-turned-actors Andre Benjamin and Tyrese Gibson -- it isn't long before they're literally beating a path through the ghetto toward any suspects they can get their hands on. And it isn't long after that before a conspiracy begins to emerge (the details of which are never entirely clear) involving bankruptcy and insurance money, connections to the mob, and crooked cops and city councilmen.

Inspired by Westerns and Blaxploitation flicks of the 1970s (the soundtrack is even heavy on the Motown), director John Singleton (who made "2 Fast 2 Furious" and "Baby Boy" with Gibson) fills the screen with moody darkness that makes it clear the Mercer boys' impulsive, haphazard vigilantism is not only risking their lives, but also taking a toll on their souls (something the family man among them realizes all too well). Singleton gets another kind of tension from a pair of incredibly executed action sequences, one a midnight car chase on dangerously icy streets and the other an out-manned, out-gunned firefight that could be straight out of a Sergio Leone picture.

But despite the film's strengths -- including strong, diverse lead performances that breathe with authentic brotherly love (and brotherly teasing), and the gifted Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Melinda and Melinda," "Dirty Pretty Things") playing a gangster so chilling his very presence on screen can put you on edge -- "Four Brothers" falls apart completely in the last act.

A total fantasy almost laughably dependent on every villain behaving with 100-percent predictability (and exactly on cue) as the Mercer boys spring their traps for retribution, the absurd finale is a fatal blow to an otherwise solid, gritty revenge movie in which a few lesser shortcomings are easily forgiven or forgotten.

Comments

garrett is hot!!'s picture

garrett is hot!!

Garrett is sooooo hot!!!!I love him to death!!!!!

8 years 2 months ago
Report
View Comments

Four Brothers Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, WIDE: Friday, August 12, 2005

Advertisement

More Mark Wahlberg

A Week In Movies: Stars Turn Out In For The London Film Festival, As Films Premiere In London And New York, Wahlberg Shoots Ted 2 And Trailers Bow For American Sniper And Ouija

The London Film Festival kicked off this week with the UK premiere of The Imitation Game, attended by stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Mark Strong,...

Mark Wahlberg And Amanda Seyfried Film A Scene For 'Ted 2'

Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried appear to do take after take of a particularly tense scene while filming for Seth MacFarlane's 'Ted 2' in New...

Is Mark Wahlberg Boycotting His Brother Donnie's Wedding Because He Dislikes Jenny McCarthy?

Mark Wahlberg is reportedly missing his brother Donnie's wedding, and some reports are claiming it's because the Transformers actor isn't a fan of his future...

Mark Wahlberg To Miss Brother Donnie's Wedding

Actor Donnie Wahlberg is tying the knot with fiancee Jenny McCarthy, but his little brother, A-List actor Mark Wahlberg won't be in attendance.Donnie and Jenny...

Advertisement

Mark Wahlberg To Star in 'Deepwater Horizon' Oil Spill Movie?

Mark Wahlberg has an offer from Lionsgate to star in Deepwater Horizon - a cinematic retelling of the BP oil disaster that occurred in the...

Michael Bay "Passing on the Transformers Baton" - But Does Anybody Want It?

Michael Bay, the action movie director who scored a hit over the weekend with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, says he will hand over the baton...

Apes, Transformers and Dragons: But Where Are The Women in the Summer Blockbusters 2014?

Summer has arrived (if you ignore the weekend rain) and so have some fantastic cinematic blockbusters.There’s exciting viewing for everyone: out-and-out action, talking apes on...

Uncharted Movie To Start Filming in 2015 With An Actor of Mark Wahlberg's Standing, Apparently

A movie adaptation of the popular video game franchise Uncharted has been in the works since 2008. Since then, three iterations of the game now...

Advertisement