Monday, August 15, 2005

Four Brothers (2005)

Tonally inept revenge drama from once-promising director John Singleton, who sometime in 2003 completely sold out to the Hollywood machine. I think it was around the time that Chiwetel Ejiofor told Barry Shabaka Henley that he had to sit at the kid's table that I wondered aloud if I was supposed to take this shit seriously; that stupid scene is then followed by the film's grimmest and most violent sequence, which strikes me as unpleasant and possibly dishonest. Another debit against the film: The title characters aren't advanced much beyond one character trait. It's like you can hear the pitch as you watch the film (Mark Wahlberg is... The Angry One! Tyrese Gibson is... The Sneaky One! Andre Benjamin is... The Sensible One! Garret Hedlund is... The Doomed One!). And all the film's characters are made to act as stupid as possible in any given situation. The nadir, in that respect, is the scene in the poolhall between Terrence Howard and Josh Charles. The contempt for the audience shown in that scene is breathtaking... or it would be if the film didn't one-up itself by extending its other middle finger to us in the last twenty minutes. The wrap-up to this is so ludicrous that it seems impossible that this wasn't meant as a comedy. I hate this film.

Grade: D


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