Saturday, February 18, 2006

Four Brothers

Four Brothers: four brothers reunite upon the death of their mother and get revenge.

The Sons Of Katie Elder: four brothers reunite upon the death of their mother and get revenge.

I'm not the only one who sees the similarity: Four Brothers vs. The Sons of Katie Elder, The Remake Stacks Up Well. In the director's commentary to 4B, which I didn't watch, the director says he never saw the John Wayne movie. And I'll accept that as true; but I find it hard to believe that no-one involved in the production of this film realized it was a remake. (As I Googled this, it seems like everyone who watched the movie said, Sons of Katie Elder remake; the only people who haven't said it are those officially connected with the movie. If you can find an interview by the writers or directors saying it's a remake, let me know.)

But you know what? It doesn't matter (except, perhaps, to whoever owns the copyright for The Sons of Katie Elder). 4B is a great film, and stands on its own. The updating of the classic western is brilliant: the setting is Detroit, the sons are adopted, and no-one has a second thought about pursuing justice for Mom, even tho they do acknowledge that Mom would have said to forgive them. The shoot-out at the Mercer family home is brilliant.

Yes, there's violence. And strong language. But it's also a good story.

And it has Chiwetel Ejiofor.

You know, the guy from Serenity. "I am, however, wearing full body armor. I am not a moron!" (From Serenity. Not Four Brothers. I'd quote from 4B, except I'd have to do a lot of "expletive deleted").

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