Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, André Benjamin, Garrett Hedlund, Terrence Howard, Josh Charles, Sofía Vergara, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Fionnula Flanagan

John Singleton

Running Time:
109 mins

Out to buy on DVD 30/01/06

"Let's see what he has to say now"

When their adoptive mother Evelyn Mercer (Flanagan) is shot and killed in a convenience store robbery, brothers Bobby (Wahlberg), Angel (Gibson), Jerry (Benjamin) and Jack (Hedlund) return to Detroit for her funeral. Wanting answers, the brothers start their own investigations into her death after the police say it is gang related. Using their own type of persuasion, they find out that there might be more to her death than they first thought.

Director John Singleton returns to the urban inner city storylines that made this name but can the now big time helmer remember his filmmaking roots?

Making his name with gritty, urban dramas like 'Boyz in the Hood', 'Poetic Justice' and 'Higher Learning', Singleton came to the attention of the Hollywood big wigs and bigger budget fair like 'Shaft' and '2 Fast 2 Furious' soon followed. 'Four Brothers' sees the director try and combine these two different kinds of approaches to bring us a character driven action flick.

At the centre of the film are the four brothers of the title. Adopted by their foster mother Evelyn Mercer, when no one else would take them in, Bobby, Angel, Jerry and Jack became known in the Detroit neighbourhood by everyone and especially the police. With Bobby spending time in prison, Angel joining the US Navy, Jack playing in a band and Jerry managing to change his life around by getting into property redevelopment. They are reunited at the funeral and come together to find out who killed their mother. From then on the film becomes a combination of a vigilante investigation with action sequences filling in the gaps between the revelations.

After making a real impact in 1997's 'Boogie Nights', rapper turned actor Mark Wahlberg went on to mix dramatic roles with big budget Hollywood leading man roles with mixed results. As Bobby he is given a decent character to contend with. The eldest brother of the family and the one who has been in the most trouble, Wahlberg's character drives the brother's own investigation in his own unique style. André Benjamin is another musician turned actor trying to make a name for himself on the big screen and he continues to impress. As Jerry, he is the conscience of the group and brings some control to the situation. The trio of musicians turned actors is completed by Tyrese Gibson, who plays Angel. While he doesn't quite have the same impact as Wahlberg or Benjamin, but he has the potential. Garrett Hedlund is a model turned actor who is starting to make himself known and his role as Jack will only help with that. There are also decent supporting performances from Terrence Howard as Lt. Green, Fionnula Flanagan as Evelyn Mercer and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Victor Sweet.

The twists and turns of the plot never really surprise but they do enough to keep you interested and the action sequences, including an exciting car chase in a snowstorm, are of a high quality making 'Four Brothers' more watchable than it should have been. The performances also keep you engaged but while this may be entertaining, it isn't a movie that will stick in the memory for very long after the final credits roll.


Presented in Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is good.


Commentary by John Singleton
The man at the helm talks passionately about his eighth film as a director. He reveals what drew him to the project and how he approached the film. The casting of the brothers is also discussed, as he reveals how he and the writers chose the right actors to play the parts of Bobby, Angel, Jeremiah and Jack. He talks about the look and style of the film, revealing the Western influences and the way he wanted it to look. This is a good commentary from a director who is growing even more in stature.

The look of Four Brothers (10.07 mins)
Director John Singleton, director of photography Peter Menzies, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, production designer Keith Brian Burns, costume designer Ruth Carter and stars Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and André Benjamin talk about the look and style of 'Four Brothers'. An urban western, they talk about creating the same ideals in a city setting via locations and sets, as well as the character's look.

Crafting the Brothers (10.55 mins)
Screenwriters Paul Lovett and David Elliot, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and director John Singleton talk about the script for 'Four Brothers'. They discuss the influences behind the film and wanting to create a modern western. They also talk about all the characters and the actors that play them, as well as the influence of the Mother on each of them.

Behind the Brotherhood (9.31 mins)
Director John Singleton, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Garrett Hedlund and André Benjamin talk about the theme of brotherhood that runs through the film and its characters. The group talk about the chemistry of the four main actors playing Bobby, Angel, Jeremiah and Jack.

Mercer House Shootout (4.56 mins)
Director John Singleton, director of photography Peter Menzies and specials effects supervisor Neil Trifunovich take you behind the scenes of the shootout at the Mercer house. The crew talk about the how the action sequence was constructed and how the bullet hits were created.

Deleted Scenes (11.31 mins)
Entitled 'Corner store hold up', 'The brothers' eulogy', 'Booby teases Jack', 'After the hockey game', 'Arriving at Jeremiahs', 'Revenge is a full time job', 'Lt. Green questions councilman Douglas', 'Det. Fowler warns Angel' and 'Cops arrest Angel', these deleted or extended scenes suffer from the lack of an introduction or commentary to explain why they were cut.

Theatrical Trailer (2.28 mins)
Watch the preview trailer that promoted the film in the cinema.


Paramount has done a good job with the DVD transfer of 'Four Brothers'. The featurettes cover most aspects of the films production and director John Singleton provides a good commentary track. Fans of the film should be pleased with this DVD package.


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