If you had ever told me that I would end up really liking a movie starring Marky Mark from the Funky Bunch and the lead singer of Outkast (the perpetrators of one of the most annoying songs in recent history - Hey Ya) then I would've laughed right in your face. Come on, a movie with three rappers (Tyrese throws down the rhymes also, yo!)? There's no way I would've expected that to satisfy my entertainment needs. But I'm man enough to admit that I would've been wrong.
Four Brothers is a gritty, testosterone-fueled crowd pleaser that mixes drama, action, and humor. If you're looking for something light and fluffy then keep on looking because you won't find it here. But if you're in the mood to see some bad guys get pumped full of bullets and fists then this will put a smile on your face. The audience at the screening I attended was clapping and cheering throughout the movie. You'd have thought we were at a wrestling match.
This plays out a bit like a Western. A wrong is done, a posse seeks to get revenge against the wrongdoers, and the wrongdoers are painted in such an unlikable fashion that you're just begging for them to taste a little vigilante justice.
As for the good guys, well, they fall under the "anti-hero" moniker. They aren't scared to sidestep the law in order to get what they're after. But within the context of the movie you can't really blame their motives. Their mother adopted them when nobody else wanted anything to do with them. They were considered lost causes, yet she took them in, gave them a family, and put her faith in them.
They didn't turn out to be saints, but as one cop says, "They're Congressmen compared to what they would've been." Now their mother, just an old lady always trying to do good, is dead and the cops don't seem to be doing anything about it. Wrongs have to be made right, and the brothers decide they're the ones that have to make it right.
This is one of those movies that I figured I'd somewhat enjoy, but I walked out of the theater thinking, "Man, I didn't expect it to be THAT good!" It's rare that I find such a diamond in the rough, so I savor it as if I'm Rob Schneider at a stupid movie convention.
One reason I had my doubts going in was I feared it might be drowned in loud, annoying hip-hop stylings. Plus, every Outkast song I've ever heard has made me want to gouge my eardrums with a letter opener, so I feared the worst from Andre Benjamin. "How annoying is this guy going to be?" I asked myself. But all my fears were unfounded. Instead, we're surrounded by a world of crooked cops, bad guys who wear man-furs, surprisingly good acting, believable chemistry, a couple of subtle twists, and a really cool car chase on ice. I'm always up for a good revenge flick, and I'm happy to report that this one exceeded my expectations.
Are you easily offended by violent revenge flicks? Then use your common sense and skip out on Four Brothers. But if that sounds like your kind of movie then I think you'll find this one works great within the genre.