Movie Title: Four Brothers
Director: John Singleton
Date Released: August 12th, 2005
Date Seen: October 20th, 2012
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
I liked this movie. I had somehow missed it, even though I knew the premise. It was a good movie. My favorite part of the movie was how much the 4 guys, completely different backgrounds as actors, all managed to come together and act like brothers. There were some great moments where they really did feel like a family and brother interactions. Some did get a little out of hand with that (there’s one where they’re all in the bathroom… weird….).
The movie did keep me interested, because I was never really sure who was responsible for the killing… but that was mostly due to part into they would get a little bitty piece of information and somehow jump to these random conclusions from it – that they all accepted even though to me they didn’t make too much sense. Ah well. I still liked it. I loved the main gangster person – he was one bad mother fucker. I love those villains that do completely horrible things (like he makes a fat guy and his wife eat off the floor for annoying him, he kills people, etc.) – but then they have their own demented morals, like before he kills some guy, he sends the children out of the room to get ice cream. So weird. I mean, yay, villain that has some morals – but god, it just makes him MORE crazy in my mind.
So, I’d say watch this movie when you’re in the mood for a good shooting movie, with Marky Mark in it…. and a decent plot as well.
Part 2 – Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
The movie opens with Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan) pulling up to a store and getting out of the car. A green EL Camino is seen sitting with its engine running a ways down the street. In the store, Evelyn is lecturing Darnell, a maybe 10 – 12 yer old boy about stealing candy and how she believes more in him and blah blah blah. Darnell leaves, and then two men come barging in and demand cash. The owner gives the money up easily, but the robbers still shoot him. Evelyn was hiding in the back of the store and makes a noise – so they know she is there. The camera changes to outside the store and we simply see two or three gunshots by the back of the store.
The next scene is the funeral for Evelyn. We see 3 men throughout the funeral, who are all super super upset. They are Bobby Mercer (Mark Wahlberg), Jeremiah Mercer (Andre Benjamin… aka Andre 3000), and Jack Mercer (Garrett Hedlund). At the… after-funeral thing, whatever you call that, we see Lt. Green (Terrence Howard) and Detective Fowler (Josh Charles) watch those going into the house. Lt. Green describes the boys. Bobby is described as the biggest fuckup of the family, used to play hockey. Jack is the youngest, another fuck up, wanna-be rocker, etc. Fowler says he doesn’t look to bad but Green says all the Mercers are fucked up. Jeremiah is the one who is described as alright – he “found a cause” working for the union. They also talk about Angel Mercer (Tyrese Gibson) , an ex hustler and a soldier, but he doesn’t seem to be there. Fowler asks Green why he calls Evelyn a saint, if all the kids turned out so fucked up. He explains that in 30 years Evelyn worked tirelessly for the department, placing foster kids in permanent homes. These 4 boys were so far gone that no one would take them – so she adopted them herself. Green says the boys are “congressmen compared to how they would have turned out”. At the funeral thing, while Bobby and Jack talk to Jeremiah’s two adorable little daughters, some cute “but you can’t be my uncle, you’re white!” “well, mama Evelyn was white…” and it was cute. But anyway, Jeremiah’s wife, Camile (Taraji P. Henson) isn’t to happy that Bobby is there. She just says that Jeremiah isn’t like “that” anymore and doesn’t want Bobby influencing him at all… Jeremiah assures her that everything is ok. Green and Fowler walk in, offer their condolences, and tell the boys that everything is under control in the investigation. He says that they have a guy that was playing basketball across the street and saw two gang bangers go in and shoot her. He clearly knows what Bobby has on his mind… revenge. Duh.
The boys head to their Mom’s house, and find Angel waiting on the porch for them. They have a nice reunion but as soon as they go inside, the reality sets in that she isn’t there and won’t be coming back. Jack and Angel go to their old rooms, Jeremiah sits on the couch, and Bobby goes and looks around his mom’s room. He puts up the ironing board and looks up at her jewelry and then breaks down crying. He doesn’t let anyone see him though. He even gives Jack a little bit of crap about him being teary. Then the boys are kind of back to normal, with Jeremiah thinking he’s going to try and find a turkey, because their mom would want them to have Thanksgiving together. Angel decides to go hit up some old girlfriend… and man does he hit her up… he pretty much just steals her right away from her now jealous boyfriend. Her name is Sofi (Sofia Vergara). The next morning (or maybe a couple more) Bobby is annoyed at Angel for letting Sofi stay there, Jeremiah just laughs. So they’re acting just like real brothers – even while Jack is in the kitchen working on the turkey and the other three sit in the room annoying each other, wrestling each other, etc. Then the boys sit down for a nice family dinner – and all can’t help but think about what their mom would be saying right now if Evelyn was there. Things like close your mouth, get your elbows off the table, oh you got more tattoos, haha look at mine. Jack also sees her mentioning that she knows he had a hard life before he came there but is safe now. So gives us a better idea of his troubled past. The guys then go outside and play hockey.
Next we see the boys at lawyers office. He leaves them to look at her safety deposit box alone. In the box is birth certificates for Jeremiah and Jack, and adoption records for all the boys. There is a Woodstock ticket, which they find hilarious that their Mom went there. There’s a tiny bit of cash, which they split between the three older boys and give Jack some of his moms jewelry. The boys then go look at some place that Jeremiah is trying to turn around. It’s a complete shit hole and the other guys kind of give him shit, but they’re still clearly proud of him. The guys go to a bar and get shitfaced. The bartender seems to know their Mom – and says he has heard something about the people that killed their mom. He thinks he knows what gang did it. There’s a bit of a rift between the boys. Angel and Bobby clearly want to go after the people that killed their Mom. Jeremiah is clearly against it. Jack just stays quiet. But Jeremiah leaves and says to “call him when they got shot”. The bartender then tells the boys what he knows (but we don’t hear it).
Bobby (with a big gun), Angel (with a nice gun) and Jack with a tire iron and a big can of gasoline go barge into a big party – Their entrance is actually hilarious. They go in screaming that they are cops, so the younger kids freak out and run (they’re drunk) and then they yell down the main hallway with a girly voice that “them white cops be crazy!”. They start threatening to burn the gang leader guy alive unless he tells them who killed their mother/hit up the liquor store. The man tells him that there’s no way there were witnesses, because no one could have been playing basketball across the street – the court lights get turned off at 10 and according to the cops the incident occurred at 11. The boys take the gang banger to the court and at 10:02 the lights still aren’t out… Bobby starts dragging him off to shoot him… and the lights turn off. At home, Bobby tells Jack that something just isn’t right with the circumstances. Jack doesn’t know why someone would want to kill their mother and neither does Bobby. The next day all 4 of the boys meet at the store. The three guys tell Jeremiah that something just isn’t right – and that they found out the “witness” was paid by the cops. The owner of the store comes and talks to the boys. He lets them in and lets them watch the tape of the murder. Jack can’t handle it and is crying even before Evelyn is shot. All of the boys lose it a little when she does actually get shot. Bobby says though something is so off – the men seem to talk to Evelyn for a bit before shooting her. Bobby says it was an execution based on how they killed her. The store owner tells the boys that the cops talked to a really long time to this one guy, with an afro, who works out across the street, and always comes and gets gatorade after the games. So the boys go across the street and go into the middle of the game and make a big scene. Bobby yells asking about this witness in the murder, with Jeremiah trying to keep him from doing something stupid, and Jack and Angel notice one guy hurry out of the gym. Jack chases him and Angel just holds a door closed so the guy runs into it and starts questioning the guy. Jack goes inside and gets Jeremiah and Bobby – and Bobby starts questioning the guy, Kenan, about why he was running – and who he was running to. He says that they just described his brother, Damian (Lyriq Bent). He refuses to tell them anything else, and the boys respect that. They ask him if he lives at home with him (Kenan) and he says yes. They search him and find his report card, that has his home address on it. The guys head out to go find Damian, but not before Jack tells Kenan that he has good grades, so he better stay in school.
The brothers go and wait outside the house. After a bit Jeremiah has to leave to go take the girls to gymnastics. Bobby gives him a lot of shit, says that he should take Jack – and Jack points out that Bobby was the one who took ballet. Ah, again, typical brother stuff. They wait in the car for a bit more, Jack singing to himself and drawing pictures on the window. Bobby asking Angel about the marines. Then Jack sees Damian walking up to the apartment building and they all run out and get him. A chase ensues, Damian makes it up to floor 6 – and lets his dogs out on Bobby. Angel blows the dogs with a fire extinguisher. Damian tries to escape through a window, by repelling down it. Angel and Bobby kind of shoot out the window at him, he shoots back up, and then Bobby just cuts the rope, causing Damian to fall about 3 stories. Bobby says “well, he’ll talk now.” Damian has a SUPER broke leg. It’s disgusting. He tells them that someone paid him to say that he saw some gang bangers shoot up the place – but he won’t tell him who. The guys say, ok, then they’re leaving – and it’s going to be a cold long night. Windy too, so no one will hear him for a while. They walk away… and then Damian yells that he’ll tell them who it was.
At the bar – they see the two men they are after. The two men notice them and so they run out and manage to get in their car. A chase ensues, with guns and the car – but it’s a rough chase because of the blinding snow outside. They do make Jack put his seat belt on. Angel shoots out the window and shoots the driver in the shoulder, which causes them to wreck, but they still manage to drive off a bit… then it totally wrecks after some more gunshots. Angel and Bobby tell Jack to wait, who watches while they beat the shit out of the two men. The men don’t say anything, and while Jack watches, clearly upset, Bobby and Angel execute the two men. Bobby says “don’t worry Jack, we got those bastards that killed mom” and they leave. The next morning, we see Lt. Green and Fowler at the murder site. They decide to go check up on the Mercer boys. Sofi is seen cleaning Bobbys arm (he must of got grazed by a bullet or something), and runs to get him a shirt or something to cover up with as Angel yells that the cops are there. Even with covering up his arm, Green immediately notices the cut (because it’s still bleeding). Bobby explains it away with “hockey”. They also ask about where the car is, and Sofi says it’s at Jeremiah’s – he drove them home last night since it was so snowy. Fowler tries to get Bobby to admit they did the killings the previous night by saying that they found one of his hairs on the body. Bobby just laughs and says there is no way, if that was true, then he’d already be in jail. Green says he wants to know what they think – that those two thugs were hired to kill Evelyn? Angel points out that that’s a weird jump to make – from random thugs being murdered to the execution of contract killers. He also says that if they were professional contract killers, then obviously, even with a good ass kicking they wouldn’t tell who hired them. Green says he just wants to help – and know what happened.
We now go to a scene of a group of nicely dressed black men in a nice club having dinner. One of them notices Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor) come in and everyone gets all nervous at the table. He explains that he “distinctly remembers asking for OUT OF TOWN shooters.” Just like a hooker, you pay her to leave. Out of town shooters, same thing. But someone hired in-town shooters instead. Victor is super pissed. None of the men want to take blame for who did it. He gets super angry when one guy takes a bite while he’s talking – and Victor makes him (and the guys girlfriend who talks back) eat his food off the floor. So clearly this guy is a bad motherfucker. He tells the rest of the gang to find out who killed the two shooters. Back at the house – Jack, Angel, and Bobby are about to leave to go try and find out more about those two men they killed. Sofi though whines and bitches and so Angel ends up staying. They start having sex on the dryer, when there is a knock on the door. He gives Sofi his jacket to cover up and he answers the door. The man is a state farm agent – he has questions about the mothers life insurance policy. The last few years Jeremiah has been paying it – and due to Jeremiah’s past criminal record and the fact that Jeremiah is now almost bankrupt, they have to investigate. Sofi comes in and makes a scene about some condoms in Angels jacket, and he just shuts her up by locking her out, and keeps listening to the state farm agent. He says that Jeremiah stands to get $400,000 from the insurance policy. Angel is just in shock. He goes and talks to an old friend who tells him that Jeremiah got mixed up with some bad people, and has pretty much lost everything.
We now see Bobby and Jack turning over the gang bangers place. Bobby finds a shit ton of weapons under a bed…. and of course he takes them all. Jack finds a camera, which has some pictures of Evelyn and the lawyer, that gave them the safety deposit box. They are like “wtf, he said that they only met once”. At the house, Sofi is making dinner while Jack and Bobby look at the guns. Angel shows up, as Jeremiah gets there. Jeremiah is starting to look worried with how much stuff the guys have found out, and Angel is clearly cold toward him – thinking that something isn’t right. But he doesn’t say anything to the other guys. Then all four of them head to the lawyers house, break a window, and see on his schedule that he met with Evelyn at 8 pm the night she died. Then outside we hear Sofi being a crazy bitch screaming that for Angel – they all go outside to shut her up, to not alert the neighbors, but then the lawyer drives up. Bobby throws him on the snow and starts slapping his stomach (kind of stupid…) until he tells them wtf was up with that. The lawyer explains that he was “seeing” their mother and just didn’t want to tell them that as to not spoil their image of her. Bobby understands and apologizes for the broken window and they leave.
The next morning is quite possibly my favorite scene. Jack is in the shower, Bobby is taking a dump, and Angel asks them about a weird rash he suddenly has on his junk. Bobby makes Jack look at it who says it’s just a rug burn. So hilarious. Then Angel tells them some about what he found out about Jeremiah – and he thinks that just something isn’t right so they should look into it more. He leaves out that he’s totally broke though, and just tells them about the building being taken from him. He sends Bobby and Jack to go talk to someone downtown about Jeremiah’s business. The guy isn’t very helpful…. at all. They just want to know who Jeremiah got mixed up with. They again threaten the torching thing – and this guy gives them the name Victor Sweet. At the same time we see Green visiting the lawyer, who is asking about their relationship. Green also asks about Jeremiah’s situation, and how Evelyn felt about it. The laywer asks “well, wasn’t all this in your police report?” and Green says “what police report?”. Back at the station, Green reviews some footage from a couple of days before the murder – Evelyn apparently came in to file a police report. On the camera though, Fowler comes up and talks to her – and talks to her for more than an hour off camera. He is seen on camera then walking her out. Green says Fowler never mentioned any of this – so uh oh, something else is going on. Now we see Angel watching Jeremiah go into a bank, cash a check for the sum of about $400,000 for the life insurance policy, and leave. Angel is upset and can’t believe his brother would do something like this – and calls Bobby and Jack to meet him somewhere. They meet at a bowling alley – Jack and Bobby tell Angel about they got the name “Victor Sweet” from the counsel man (the guy they just tried to torch), and then Angel starts explaining more about Jeremiah. That Jeremiah is super bankrupt and owes bad people money. He points out one guy at the bowling alley, Evan (Jernard Burks). It’s the guy from earlier that Victor made eat the food off the floor. Supposedly he works for a guy named Victor…. and he is one of Jeremiah’s old friends. As Angel keeps explaining to the boys about the insurance check – what happens – but Jeremiah walks up to Evan and delivers him a big fat envelope. The guys can’t believe what they just saw. Bobby says they’ll deal with Jerry later and heads over to Evan. He tells his wife to get the kids and go, but one of his daughters is still right there. Bobby asks about what the hell he was doing talking to Victor. Evan refuses to say anything or even aknowledge the envelope until Bobby threatens him, but Evan doesn’t want anything to happen in front of the kids so he gives up the envelope – the guys leave saying that they’ll see Evan later.
At a poker game, with Victor Sweet, Evan, and some others, the counsel man comes down the stairs to join them. He says that a cop came to ask him about Jeremiah today – but he’s more worried about Bobby Mercer. Victor threatens the counsel man until he admits that he did tell Bobby his (Victor’s) name. He makes the counsel man go sit at the kids table until he’s done with his hand of poker. As he finishes his hand, Victor talks to another guy at the table about how he’s happy this dude is getting married – and says he’s going to send the dude on some out of town work so that he (Victor) can spend time with the future wife. She’s too good for the guy anyway, so the guy better share her. Grossness. Then Victor sends the kids upstairs to get some ice-cream, sends the women upstairs, and “deals” with the counsel man. We don’t see what happens, but we do see him ask fora gun.
Bobby, Angel, and Jack are all waiting outside Jeremiah’s house. Bobby wants to barge into the house, but the others don’t let him because his family is in there. They just call Jeremiah and tell him to meet at the house the next morning, asap. The next morning Jeremiah comes to the house – and the boys give him shit. They accuse him of having something to do with the murder – and how convenient it was that Evelyn just died at this perfect time. Jeremiah explains that Victor pretty much runs the town – he owns the counsel man who cut off his loans, and has been threatening them. He also says it was Evelyn’s idea for the insurance policy, so that the girls would have something. He can’t believe the guys would accuse him of having something to do with the mom’s death – after all, he was the only one who has always been there for her, paid the bills, etc. There is a knock at the door while this is going on. Jack answers it, and someone throws a snowball at him and screams YOUR MOM WAS A WHORE. Jack storms out after the guy, they get down the street a little ways, and the guy pulls out a gun, reveals that he is masked, and shoots Jack in the shoulder. The other guys run out and shoot that man, as two vans with guys with machine guns pull up. They mow down Jack, who is still alive but badly wounded and then start in on the house. Jack is screaming for Bobby the whole time. The whole family, even Sofi, is trying to shoot the men and be able to save Jack. Jeremiah though runs out the back. He does manage to kill one guy who was coming in the back, but still, he runs away. He gets in his car and drives off. It looks like all is lost, but the boys manage to get an upper hand (seriously a super lucky set of coincidences). The guy in the van starts going to ram Bobby and Angel – but Jeremiah crashes into the car to stop it. The boys then all gather around Jack while Sofi calls an ambulance, all of them are bawling… and Jack dies…. Bobby goes to the driver of the van, asks him if Victor Sweet sent him – and he says, “uh yeah, Victor Sweet” – and then Bobby shoots him.
The police arrive, and of course Lt. Green is there. They tell him that Victor Sweet did this, but obviously, with all the men dead, that’s not much to go on from a police point of view. Bobby asks if the police are going to go after him – or if they need to. Green says first he has a corrupt cop issue he has to deal with – and explains about the police report that Evelyn filed. It was about Jeremiah getting shut down for no reason. Even though Jeremiah never told her, she knew all about it. Somehow though, the report never actually got filed and went straight to Victor Sweet. Uh oh. Green says he is going to deal with Fowler, then they’ll get Victor Sweet. Bobby asks about the mess they just made – and Green says “well it was self defense, clearly.” Green goes to a bar where Fowler is hanging out. He asks Fowler how weird it is that he’s hanging out in one of Victor Sweet’s spots. Then he asks how come Fowler never mentioned the police report Evelyn filed the few days before the murder. Fowler says it wasn’t relevant – it was just about kids vandalizing on her block, he barely spent 5 mins with her. Green goes with it, even though he clearly knows Fowler is lying. He ends up hitting Fowler with a pool cue, accusing him of being a dirty cop, then leaves. Fowler limps, following him out, and says he has one more thing to say to Green – and he shoots him three times in the chest. He wipes the gun clean, and calls in on his radio that there is an officer down. It’s a gross image at the funeral of Green, with Fowler standing right there at his casket. We then also see the boys at Jack’s grave site, right next to their mothers.
The guys decide to try a plan – but don’t really explain it to the audience well. It involves trying to call a truce with Victor Sweet – since he’s a businessman, they think he’ll go for the whole $400,000. So Jeremiah goes and tells Evan to tell Victor about the idea. They agree on a drop in like 3 hours. Evan also lets Jeremiah in on a little secret – Fowler will be there. Now we see everyone getting ready, all of Sweet’s men, Bobby, Jeremiah kissing his wife, and Angel getting a fat kid to do him a favor (for a box of baby ruths and $20). We see Fowler have a knock at his door. He opens it and finds the fat kid there, “selling baby ruth’s”. Fowler tells the kid to gtfo and slams the door – but that has given Angel time to get into the house from the back and he jumps Fowler. He suffocates him (well, starts to) and calls Jeremiah and Bobby to let then know that Fowler is taken care of. Finally, Fowler realizes he can rip the bag off his face – and so Angel points a gun at him. Unfortunately though, crazy fucking dumb slut Sofi went to the police station – and told them that she heard her boyfriend talking about killing a cop. So the cops are on their way there, and Angel starts to hear the sirens. Fowler starts in on how dumb he (Angel) is. Angel says that once the police hear that Fowler killed Green, it’ll be fine. Fowler says there’s no way the cops will believe a Mercer brother over a himself. Angel then reveals that he is wearing a wire – and there is a bunch of cops outside that just listened to this whole conversation. He says into his jacket that he is bringing Fowler out, but Fowler manages to grab the gun from Angel and hold him down. He ends up going outside with the gun pointed to Angels head – and Angel is acting terrified. Fowler is screaming about how they’ll never get him and blah blah blah, and the cops are just confused as hell (Angel was lying and just hoping this would work). Clearly though, Fowler has gone nuts – and he even starts shooting at the cops, so they take him down.
At Jeremiah’s house, Evan and his group arrives. Jeremiah heads out with them, after being searched, with the money. They drive out to the middle of nowhere – what appears to be on a lake. Some men are chainsawing into the ice. Evan says they are just ice fishing. Victor rolls up, and in his car we hear him say how stupid Jeremiah was for showing up. He says they need to hurry up and drown Jeremiah so that Victor can make it to his hot date. Victor looks at the money, and then starts kind of mocking Jeremiah about how stupid he is and asks him to remind him of the arrangement they have going on – Jeremiah explains that for the $400,000 they will all be even. But Jeremiah then says that there is a new arrangement. Victor just starts laughing and asks for a gun to shoot Jeremiah – but instead, all the men surround Victor. Jeremiah explains that they decided instead to give these mistreated workers the money instead. Victor is in disbelief and starts pulling the “Well, Fowler and all his men will be here soon so if you shoot me, they’ll just kill you.” Jeremiah explains that they already have Fowler taken care of. Victor starts screaming asking who is going to do it. Who the man is that can kill him. And then up comes Bobby to beat the poop out of Victor. Why they don’t just kill him, I’ll never know. I hate the play with your food idea. Victor is pretty much winning the fight, but Bobby ends up winning, duh, and then they dump Victors body in that ice hole. Jeremiah asks what they are going to do about the cops – and Bobby says “nothing, the cops love the Mercer boys”.
Next we see the boys all being interrogated about what happened to Victor Sweet – and all telling the same story – about banging the cop that is beating them ups mother. The cops clearly have nothing to go on so they let the boys go. We see the guys a bit later, fixing up the house, with the kids playing outside. Sofi and Camille call Angel and Jeremiah for dinner, while Bobby keeps working for a couple of minutes. He starts to go inside, and sees his mother sitting on the porch knitting.
The credits have a couple of scenes of the guys, in their “glory days”. Bobby as a crazy hockey person, Jeremiah at the workers union protesting, Angel doing some scams, and Jack being a wanna-be rockstar which is my favorite one.
I liked it. Some moments were a bit cheesy, but whatever, it’s still awesome. Gun fights, good acting like they’re actually brothers, can’t go wrong.