Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Four Brothers

Four Brothers is a drama about family. Four Brothers is an urban revenge thriller.

Most of all, however, Four Brothers is a western.


I loved Four Brothers, every pulsing breath of its glorious wide shots and brutal violence, every heartfelt moment of love and sharing, every mythic shot of gunfighters facing off against their adversaries.

John Singleton does something interesting here, framing the movie with Marvin Gaye's theme to Trouble Man (much as Tarantino framed Jackie Brown with Bobby Womack's theme to Across 110th Street). Not that I'm sure what that means. It just struck me.

Of course, that's what the whole movie did, in its way. It borrows liberally from Henry Hathaway's The Sons of Katie Elder to create a western that uses the dying Detroit as a surrogate for a just begun city of the west. It's a cool perspective that could easily have not worked, but it really does.

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