Don’t take it too seriously
By KIMBERLY NICOLETTISummit County CorrespondentMaybe it’s because I’m considering becoming a mentor, maybe it’s because I’m an only child, or maybe it’s because I’ve lived in a relatively crime-free mountain town for too long, but I found “Four Brothers” refreshing.”Four Brothers” is a tale of revenge, laden with plenty of profanity and shooting. When someone kills the Mercer brothers’ mom in a convenience store hold-up, something doesn’t add up. The four adopted brothers band together to solve the mystery, which takes them into a dark world of twists, turns, car chases and shoot-outs.My bias No.1, otherwise known as the power of mentors: What Dan calls lame recollections of the deceased mother briefly struck me as cheesy, but I quickly replaced that thought with the more girlie thought, “Aw, look how she made a difference in the boys’ lives.”Bias No. 2: Being an only child and growing up in Chicago, the brothers’ relationship touched me, and the violence took me back to watching Chicago’s nightly news. What more can I say?”Four Brothers” plays like a 1970s movie, complete with a cool El Camino car chase on the snowy streets of Detroit. I’m not a fan of car chases, but I really liked the icy chase – I felt the Mercer brothers’ pain when their beater scraped against parked cars.All of the actors draw out compelling aspects of their characters: Mark Wahlberg creates pressure with his explosive anger as Bobby Mercer; André Benjamin plays the depth of Jeremiah Mercer with finesse, and Garrett Hedlund has that traumatized street rocker look down.Yes, there are times when I expected the theme song from “Shaft” (which director John Singleton also worked on the remake of) to waft through the violent scenes. And I thought Kojak might just show up at any moment. Some lines of dialogue were laughable, and I still can’t explain exactly why they killed the mother. But it works because I don’t think “Four Brothers” is meant to be heavy, or even realistic.There’s a subtle and intangible tongue-in-cheek quality to “Four Brothers” that comes out in dialogue, tone and feel – not to mention the credits. I don’t think the movie was meant to be taken completely seriously; it’s retro feel just doesn’t allow it. Taken with a grain of salt, the movie’s quite entertaining; the plot builds tension along the way, and, as a bonus, the end result makes us question whether revenge pays.
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