Film Reviews

Brotherhood: What You Gonna Do?

Leanly scripted, directed for maximum tension, fast moving, and filled with a surprising amount of droll humor, writer-director Will Canon's Brotherhood (co-written with Doug Simon) illustrates the catastrophic consequences of boys being boys when group-think, machismo and the survival instinct all converge. When an ostensibly fail-safe fraternity initiation (robbing a convenience store) fails, the brothers and their pledges find themselves swimming in blood and, in trying to cover their asses, making one disastrous choice after another. Based on Canon's short film Roslyn, Brotherhood could easily be read as a smack-down of the quotidian cruelty and arrogance associated with frat boys, but Canon and his fine ensemble of actors don't resort to cartoon villainy, even when the asshole quotient is through the roof. Characters make choices that are incredibly stupid, even wildly offensive, but also recognizably human, and as the night spirals out of control Canon demonstrates a strong hand in controlling the mayhem. He also sets himself up as a filmmaker to watch. (Editor's note: In last week's issue, we mistakenly ran the short review for a similarly titled Danish movie. Sorry for the mistake.)

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Ernest Hardy is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.