Mercer the Merciless
Four Brothers
Review Review by Ross Anthony

The film opens like a children's Saturday afternoon special from 1974 -- something that might come on after Electric Company. A smiling adult teaches a would-be bad kid an important life lesson. But this neighborhood is in Detroit, and 5th Avenue ain't nothin' like Sesame Street -- shot's fired, nice old lady down.

The woman's murder brings together four now-adult orphans who were raised as brothers. "Who would want to kill the sweetest woman in the world?" The brothers take a few moments in reflective nostalgia, then springboard into a film of head banging revenge.

Oddly, this rush to judgment is tempered with a murder-mystery plot line. But these guys aren’t cops, so they don’t have to ask nicely. Hence their questions get answered really quick. Surprisingly, the bad guys under pressure don't seem to lie.

Well acted for the most part (Wahlberg is strong), the film lags a bit in direction. Apparently, the filmmakers try to recreate that rickety, cheesy 70's cop tv/film style. And pretty much they hit it, with all its glorious imperfections: awkward cuts, inconsistency in tone, and hokie canned music. If you long for that kind of thing, you'll have a blast. Overall, the bond and interesting interactions between the brothers keeps the film above water while Wahlberg and his character drive it forward. However, besides the questionably noble effort to slaughter the scumbags that killed their mother, the film fails to deliver any deeper message despite such an interesting initial premise.

This film screened at Yelm Cinemas.


  • Four Brothers. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Andre Benjamin, Garrett Hedlund, Terrence Howard, Josh Charles.
  • Screenplay by David Elliot & Paul Lovett.
  • Directed by John Singleton.
  • Produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura at Paramount.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2012 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:11:06 PDT