Guest Author - Vannie
The 2005 movie "Four Brothers" is full of surprises. The first surprise Mark Wahlberg. Those who are coming to see stud-boy Marky Mark in low-slung jeans will be surprised to find in Marky's place, a fine actor. Mark Wahlberg is the eldest, (and the toughest with a hair-drigger temper) of four adopted brothers.
Four brothers Jerimiah (Andre Benjamin), Jack (Garret Hedlund), Angel (Tyrese Gibson) and Bobby (Mark Wahlberg) are reunited in Detroit at their mother's funeral. As one cop explains it, Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan) was a longtime foster mother, the four boys she adopted were the only children she was not able to find homes for because they were all incorrigible. Now the Mercer boys are back to bury their mother who was killed during a candy store robbery. Until this time the Mercer brothers have lived separately and without contact, only Jeremiah stayed in Detroit and lived near his mother. Jeremiah is a successful real estate businessman is married, he and his wife Camille (Taraji Henson) have several children. The remaining brothers, once scattered, are now staying at their mother's house and we watch as each handles his own separate grief. There is a touching scene at the Thanksgiving dinner table, the four men hold hands in prayer (as they were taught by mom) and give thanks. They try to talk about other things but thoughts of their mother and her death lie heavy in the room. When they find out that the word on the street is their mother's death was not a random killing they try to find out the truth. The store owner allows them to watch the security tape and they see that their mother's death did not come from a random shooting, but was cold execution. Who and why would someone kill an old harmless woman who seemingly had no enemies? While searching for truth and their own justice, the brothers have to deal with Angel's jealous girlfriend Sofi (Sofia Vergara) who unintentionally puts them in harms way.
Lieutenant Green (Terrence Howard) and his partner, Detective Fowler (Josh Charles) are good cops but their hands appear to be tied by crime bosses and other forces. You won't forget Chiwetel Ejiofor as Victor Sweet, a major Detroit crime boss. He bullies and humiliates his own people to the point where you want to look away from the screen. I said that this movie is full of surprises. The second surprise is that although this movie dark and gritty in mood and color, it is really entertaining and has a good, tight cast. However, there is so much bloodshed that it takes on a gruesome and twisted fairytale quality; rapid-fire bullets, countless bodies and one brother lies among the dead. The final surprise is that the casting works. Four brothers--two white, two black, bonded only by mean streets and one woman's unconditional love. You do get the feeling that they are a real family. Actor/singer Tyrese Gibson is better known simply as Tyrese
Directed by John Singleton who writes of inner-city life with ease. Singleton is also producer of "Hustle & Flow" which stars Terrence Howard and Taraji Henson. "Four Brothers" has been compared to "The Sons of Katie Elder", the 1965 western about four trouble-making brothers who avenge their mother's death after attending her funeral. It stars John Wayne, Earl Holliman, Dean Martin, and Michael Anderson Jr. as the Elder brothers. Even if you don't like westerns you will enjoy John Wayne.
The Sons of Katie Elder