Four Brothers

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

John Singleton’s contemporary urban gun-slinger incorporates a western-style vigilante theme to mostly agreeable effect. The four eponymous siblings were adopted as delinquent kids by tough-talking foster mum Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan). Her time on screen is shortlived; she is gunned down in a grocery store after giving a shoplifting teen a stiff but kind-hearted lecture on social behaviour. Singleton presumably slipped in this brief pre-killing sequence to drum home the reason why her disparate sons – two black, two white – have managed to stay so firmly on the straight and narrow. But now she’s gone and all four Mercer brothers – irascible ex-boxer Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), womanising dude Angel (South Central rapper Tyrese Gibson), young rockstar wannabe Jack (Garrett Hedlund) and businessman Jeremiah (André Benjamin of eccentric pop duo OutKast) – have returned to Detroit armed with a hatful of questions and revenge on their minds.  A quarter way through, the film switches from a likeable character-led study on family ties – that sees the boys revisiting their home for the funeral and exchanging enjoyably mundane reminiscences around the Thanksgiving table – to a slice of visceral urban warfare with caricature baddies, big guns and loud bangs. Credit to Singleton; he rarely loses sight of the human drama side of things, bathing it all in an urban silvery hue and garnishing it with a stimulating soundtrack. A shame, then, that the film’s dogged by too many anomalies and loose ends and, in the end, by a lack of tension. Some select turns, though, especially from Benjamin, who sports a set of teeth like a row of luxury hotels on the Florida coast.



Release details

Release date:
Friday September 30 2005
109 mins

Cast and crew

John Singleton
David Elliot, Paul Lovett
Mark Wahlberg
Tyrese Gibson
Garrett Hedlund
Terrence Dashon Howard
Josh Charles
Sofa Vergara
Chiwetel Ejiofor
André Benjamin
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