Brotherhood (Review)

BROTHERHOOD
(2/18/11; Thriller)
Jon Foster, Trevor Morgan, Lou Taylor Pucci, Arlen Escarpeta, Jesse Steccato
SCR: Will Canon, Doug Simon
DIR: Will Canon
MPAA: R for pervasive language, some violence and sexual content.
1 hour 21 mins

Aggressive drama unfolds over one night as a variation on the old fraternity-prank-gone-wrong, but with a lot more gunplay, beatings and unpleasantness. It all begins with freshman Morgan being browbeaten into robbing a convenience store as the final step of his initiation into the Sigma Zeta Chi fraternity (it’s a prank).

It doesn’t take long for this colossally stupid idea to get worse by the second: a fellow-pledge gets shot; the clerk recognizes him and soon becomes a hostage; and Frank, the senior frat A-hole who organized this mess, believes the fraternity should deal with the problems so as not to attract the authorities. But there is the small matter of their friend writhing and bleeding.

Brotherhood is not a poorly made film. It’s photographed with crispness, the performances are solid and a few sequences generate a good amount of tension. But it’s hard to cheer for these morons when each plan is more idiotic than the next, and hard to invest much into the plot when we get scene after scene of people yelling at each other.

It’s too bad Canon wanted to tell this story as a serious one because, with a few tweaks, Brotherhood could have been one subversive black comedy. As it stands now, it’s just irritating. (Phase 4 Films)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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