The director’s short film ‘Roslyn’ was the springboard for this over-stretched feature, which despite a running time of less than 70 minutes (minus the credits), still outstays its welcome. Once the evening’s disastrous chain of events has been set in motion – by the shooting of reluctant robber Kevin (Lou Taylor Pucci), the refusal of fraternity leader Frank (Jon Foster) to take him to hospital and callow pledge Adam’s crisis of conscience – the plot accelerates in a series of fits and starts, with each twist less credible than the last. Coincidence is piled upon contrivance, as Canon loses sight of the film’s emotional core: the intense psychological power struggle between the ‘hazing’ seniors and the wannabe pledges.
Although beautifully shot, ‘Brotherhood’ would have benefited greatly from some of Tarantino’s cadenced dialogue, Rodriguez’s tongue-in-cheek humour or Carnahan’s visceral nihilism.
So for all its nods to producer Roger Corman’s ’70s exploitation movies, this patchy first feature has an air of puppy dog naiveté.