Four Brothers—In Every Sense
of the Word
The Blonde and The Maven
Singleton usually chooses to work with socially
conscious melodramas about the African-American
experience. After all, that's what Boyz n the Hood and
Baby Boy were all about. He did, however, alter his
taste when he directed 2Fast 2Furious, but all in all he
remains true to his calling. So, why does Singleton
deviate from his usual and now direct what is
essentially a remake of the western The Sons of Katie
Elder? You will have to see for yourself to figure that
Four Brothers opens with Evelyn
Mercer, a pleasant grandmotherly-type entering a
neighborhood store and catching a young black boy
shoplifting. She lectures him about the evils of crime
and, of course, he leaves a better person.
Unfortunately, two masked men enter the store having
never benefited from an early intervention as the
previous teen did. She, as well as the cashier, are
killed; (don't ya just hate it when that happens?)!
Evelyn is (briefly) played by Fionnula Flanagan (Tears
of the Sun and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood).
She was a social worker who placed thousands of children
in foster care and was well known and loved in her
neighborhood. There were four boys she could not find
homes for, as they were much too difficult. Therefore,
Evelyn simply adopted them herself!
story begins to unfold when these four brothers return
for her funeral. The eldest brother Bobby, once known as
the Michigan Mauler to hockey fans, is a volatile
hothead. Playing Bobby is Mark Wahlberg (The Italian Job
and Rock Star), who has no problem fitting into the
genre of street hoodlum. Then there is Angel, the
handsome ex-marine, tough-guy played by Tyrese Gibson
(2Fast2Furious and Baby Boy). The only son who stayed in
Detroit is Jeremiah, portrayed by Andre Benjamin (Be
Cool and half of the singing duo Outkast), who is a
union man hoping to make it big in urban renewal. The
youngest of the brothers is Jack, the aspiring musician,
played by Garrett Hedlund (Friday Night Lights and
Troy), who apparently survived previous foster care of a
very deviant nature. The brothers discover that mom was
not the victim of a random shooting, but was actually
murdered by professionals. Now the boys embark on a
mission of vigilante revenge. The director, Singleton,
was not so much concerned with the mystery of who killed
Evelyn as he was with the relationship of the four
brothers. Their love for their mother is a strong bond
that they share.
The film is violent and
sometimes a little too hard to believe. For instance,
after a shootout at the house (almost like the shootout
scene from the O.K. Corral) the police handle it like it
happens every day. This is present day American, not the
old west, where scenes like that took place every day.
There was also a scene involving a car chase where the
brothers and “bad guys” are shooting at each other from
their cars. If you roll through a stop sign in South
Florida, there will be at least two cops on your TAIL in
NO time! Well, if all movies had to be completely
realistic, who would go see them?
Blonde: This film was like (as if I care) Death Wish
meets Dirty Harry meets Bonnie and Clyde (with brothers)
meets Godfather meets The Punisher. To be perfectly
honest with you, this film really didn't hold my
attention. In fact, I just got back today from an
out-of-town trip and all I kept thinking was, "I could
be home doing laundry right now!” I thought everything
about this film was weak! If I have to say something
nice, the brothers were all cute!
Maven: I loved the natural, understated, chemistry
between the four brothers. Mark Wahlberg did a great job
as Bobby Mercer, the glue that holds the brothers
together. His performance in this film is as electric as
he is in many of his other films like The Big Hit, The
Three Kings and Boogie Nights.
Blonde: Listen Mav, I enjoy Marks acting performances as
well, yet I thought, in this film, he was
OVER-acting! In addition, I must admit that I am not a
real fan of his! Now if Mark took his clothes off as he
did in Boogie Nights, I would have been much more
centered and totally more focused in the storyline! By
the way, doesn't he look exactly like Mickey Dolenz of
Maven: AHH, NO, not through my vision. Speaking of MY
vision, why is your head stuck in the ‘70s today? First,
the Monkees and what the heck were you wearing at the
film tonight? Your hair in pigtails, a baby-blue satin
hat that didn't go with anything you were wearing, white
shorts, a pink belt and black sandals. I mean, what were
you thinking? Are you getting in touch with your inner
teen? If so, I remember those white boots and hot pants
you used to wear. NOW THAT WAS A STATEMENT!
Blonde: First of all, we both know I am NOT that old to
even remember the ‘70s! Are you perhaps projecting and
thinking of your youth? AND Hey… back off, I just got
off a ship cruise. I haven't slept for days! If I want
to be mean like you, then I would ask YOU when was the
last time you had your roots done and had fills? I feel
much better now, how bout you?
Maven: I would feel better now had Garrett Hedlund's
towel in that shower scene had fallen off.
Maven: Not to mention adding more spice to this
Maven: If the director were a woman, we would have seen
more skin. Garrett first caught my attention in Troy as
Patroclus, the cousin to Brad Pitt’s Achilles. What a
smile he has! He possesses a screen presence that
foretells a bright future in Hollywood. I couldn't take
my eyes off of him!
Blonde: Well, I don't have too, WE ARE DATING NOW! I
have seen him without the towel as well!
Maven: UMM… don't you think you are just a tad too old
Blonde: NO and hello… Demi and I are best
Maven: Okay then, just do yourself a favor if you want
to keep him, and don't EVER wear that outfit you wore
tonight with him. And don't ever let him see you in
pigtails, even on the tennis court!
Blonde: F.Y.I., Garrett loves me in pigtails and
everything I wear or don't! Back to the film, I feel
that this story would have been better off with a touch
of heart in between all of the violence. The weak humor
didn't cut it! There was too much of a hole concerning
the brother's GREAT love for their mother. I would have
enjoyed seeing more flashbacks involving their
relationship with her. The story should have had more of
their childhood and growing up years which would have
connected the viewer more strongly to them as adults. It
really shows how uninterested I was in this script when
I kept drifting back in my mind to the outrageous hike
in gas prices this week!
Story continued on bottom
Maven: I do agree with you about the outrageous prices
of gas, but NOT this film. I happen to like mindless
escapism, so I enjoyed this film. What could be more fun
than an urban thriller with four guys who tear up at the
mere thought of their mom, but at the same time think
nothing of shooting someone that was involved with her
murder? I loved the furious gunfights, the fast action,
and especially the way the brothers managed to track
their mom's killers.
Blonde: Just turn on Jerry Springer for all of the
above! I didn't buy any of the tears over their mom. I
didn't find their acting genuine at all!
Maven: Tell me one thing! Why does George W. Bush need a
Blonde: What the heck does that segue have to do with
Springer or tears?
Maven: Nothing, but answer my question! Just what does
he do that requires five weeks off to recover from? Was
it that exhausting to pick a guy for the Supreme Court?
Maybe he got tired of reading the list of dead troops
Blonde: YEAH AND NOT ONLY THAT MAV… isn't that “turn off
your cell phone” commercial before the movie begins
(where the lady doesn't get to sing because the cell
phone rings) starting to bug you too?
Maven: FIVE WEEKS… FIVE WEEKS!
Blonde: Yeah, they totally need a new commercial! At
least, let her sing a note first this time… or better
yet, get a cool band that everybody loves to do the ad
and let them start to sing before the phone rings!
Maven: FIVE WEEKS…NOT FOUR, NOT THREE, NOT ONE LIKE
THE REST OF US …FIVE WEEKS?
Blonde: Maybe his ranch is fun? Maybe there is “oh
so much to do there!” Let's go visit the
Maven: This creative suggestion from a girl who wears
pigtails out in public?
Blonde: OUCH…OUCH…OUCH! What do you want from me? I've
been up since 6 A.M., traveling, and didn't have my
Maven: Well now you tell me! YOU'RE EXCUSED, well except
for the satin blue hat!
Blonde: Did you stop taking your Zoloft this
Maven: How did you know? Anyway, I do have something
that we both can agree on this week! We're both going to
buy the soundtrack of this film. The music ranged from
Motown classics to Jefferson Airplane. Obviously, the
Blonde and I saw this film differently! I feel the
actors carried this movie and not the writing. If you
take the film too seriously, you won't like it. There is
a visceral kick and you want to root the brothers on,
even though their tactics are almost as bad as those
they are fighting. I rate this a B for brotherly love,
however it is violent so if you are squeamish, avoid
Blonde: HO-HUM…YAWN-YAWN! Nothing carried this film,
including the actors! They just got by. I thought this
movie was boring, even with all the violence. Ladies, if
you go see this film with your man, he owes you FIVE
CHICK FLICKS! IF TOO MUCH KILLING, VIOLECE, AND
VULGARITY thrills you, then you will enjoy this film.
These brothers are a far cry from the Hardy Boys! This
film seemed like ten hours to me! I rate Four Brothers a
D+ for don't go! If you want a violent film then rent
Goodfellas—at least it was done well and the acting was
great! As for your movie snacks, if you must go, I
suggest Milk-Duds to go with this dud of a
Maven: LET'S GO FOR STARBUCKS!
Blonde: Cool, but let's get you some ZOLOFT
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