Four Brothers

Not Recommended. Four adopted brothers return to their home town to get revenge on their adopted mother’s killers. What appears to be a random robbery killing turns out to be an execution, and the four brothers, all troublemakers with criminal pasts, rise to the occasion without fear in order to accomplish some “street justice.” Well, this isn’t justice at all. It’s pure revenge to the last drop. I am disappointed with John Singleton. He started his career with a very responsible Boyz in the Hood that did not shrink from the realities of ghetto culture, but posited a responsibility of self-determination to rise above it, transcend one’s bad circumstances. Unfortunately, Four Brothers actually reinforces the ghetto hate culture of guns, violence and revenge. The mother is an older lady who says the only redeeming thing in the movie to a young lad caught stealing: “I believe you’re worth more. But you’ve got to believe you’re worth more.” (about the only link to Singleton’s responsible past) And then he proceeds to decimate the morality behind that little profundity with heros who are relentless cold blooded killers who mock and abuse women. Cinematically, it was just pure ludicrous action as these guys carry around guns openly like the old west (And this wasn’t South Central either. It was a SUBURB of Detroit), engage in car chases where there no cars on the streets, have shootouts in broad daylight where absolutely no one is around and no one calls the cops. All right, I can accept a certain amount of suspended disbelief, and even a certain amount of exaggeration for a movie, but this one went way too far. And then Mark Wahlberg waves a gun around, breaking up a basketball game to ask people if they know about their mother’s killer. And it is just ridiculous that there are no consequences for his criminal display. But the worst aspect of this story is that this is the kind of stuff that breeds a ghetto culture of violence in kids. It perpetuates the belief that you must take “justice” into our own hands in revenge. Sure, there is some self-defense in the movie, but the overwhelming spirit is definitely Vigilante violence and revenge that goes way beyond finding justice for a mother’s killer.

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