During an ordinary trip to her local liquor store,
Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan) finds herself doing what she does best
while she teaches a young shoplifter a lesson and explains to him that he
is a better person than that. She then goes one step further to explain
to this 'lost' youth that it takes only one mistake before he lands himself
in jail. Though Evelyn takes crime very seriously, she is also compassionate
enough to forgive those who attempt it. Unfortunately, Evelyn's trip to
this liquor store will be her last. Unknown to her, her assassination has
already been purchased, with that very same liquor store as the target location.
Four Brothers Review
John Singleton's Four
Brothers starts nicely and efficiently quick. After encountering
the murder of Evelyn, the film quickly shifts gears to the brothers arriving
at the ceremony after the funeral. Here we get a quick introduction to three
of the four brothers, and learn that each of these guys, two white and two
black, were lost causes and could only find refuge with the saint of a mother
Evelyn Mercer. In the summary of each brother we discover that these guys
are like congressmen to what they would have become.
But are these brothers going to take the murder of their mother sitting
down? Hell no, these guys have come back to Detroit to find justice, something
they believe the local police can't do.
This is where one of the first flaws to Four Brothers surfaces.
Through out the film we watch Bobby [Mark Wahlberg], Angel [Tyrese], Jeremiah
[André 3000] and Jack [Garrett Hedlund] do their own investigative work
and it would seem that these guys are ten times more efficient than the
entire Detroit police force. The brothers discover the identities of the
'shooters' the first night of investigating from a local bartender [a bartender
knows and the cops don't?], which quickly leads them into a conflict with
the persons mentioned. This conflict constitutes a second, and major flaw,
to Four Brothers; a flaw that pops up repeatedly though out the
course of the film.
Here is one of my top issues with Four Brothers.
The film hosts a good number of gun fights, which seem to contain no pedestrians,
bystanders, passing cars, police [where the hell are they?] or even a couple
of extras in the background. In the chase scene, for example, we encounter
the Mercer brothers as they run down the known 'shooters' after a car chase
and firefight all over Detroit. During this entire chase, I didn't happen
to see one car on the road or any type of pedestrian either. This chase
lasts for a good period with gunshots being fired back and forth between
the two vehicles. Once the chase ends, the brothers still have time to get
out of their car to finish the job. What! Where the hell are the police
in Detroit? Are you telling me that car gunfights occur in Detroit and not
one police vehicle offer joins the pursuit? Remind me to head on over to
Detroit to loot town then.
I was able to let this fact go the first time, but then again we are greeted
to another gunfight that features not a single other person, moving car,
or anything for that matter but the people who are actually involved with
the ordeal. How realistic is this? To top it off, this gunfight, featuring
automatic weapons, lasts for almost ten minutes and when it finishes, the
brothers suggest that some one should call the police so they would show
up. You have to call the police after an ordeal like that?
The last big 'what the?' for me was the fact that these four brothers cruise
all around Detroit committing multiple crimes without anybody seeming to
care. Even people they commit the crime against just seem to have the 'let
bygones be bygones' attitude. The various scenes, including the gunfights,
that feature crimes such as these just make Four Brothers look
very unbelievable. It's nice to know that Detroit is like the Wild West
where everybody can carry a gun, but it just doesn't all add up.
Four Brothers is a film that should do OK in the box office, but
it does disappointing me to say that this film could have been good. John
Singleton had a few wonderful elements that could have carried the film
nice and easy to its ending. He even had a few surprises about which characters
were good and which were bad, and that was greatly appreciated and very
highly valued in my feelings towards this film. I guess my major problem
lies in the fact that, while exiting the theatre, I can only think 'what
comes out next week?'
Mark Wahlberg takes lead in Four Brothers