UK Release date: 30th September 2005
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 31st March 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is another of those films that I have a vague recollection of when it came out. I can’t remember how well it was received at the time but I still wanted to give it the once over. It’s quite an interesting film, very gritty and very down to earth; I have to admit I quite liked it. Sadly it seems the critics and many of the public disagree, but hey, we’re all entitled to our opinions. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
When Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan) is killed in what looks like a professional hit her four adopted sons take matters into their own hands. The boys; Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (André Benjamin) and Jack (Garrett Hedlund) are soon tracking down leads. The cops in the guise of Lt. Green (Terrence Howard) and Detective Fowler (Josh Charles) try to curb their enthusiasm but the boys are determined. The clues all point to Victor Sweet (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a gangland leader who does not pull his punches when he’s trying to send a message. When the boys end up on the receiving end of one of his ‘messages’ they take matters into their own hands and you know that’s not going to end well.
The plot is very slow after the initial murder of Evelyn Mercer and this may have put many off. It does, however pick up towards the middle third and by the end it has reached full throttle. The gritty realism of the story is enhanced by the winter scenes on the streets of Detroit. I can’t say I was overly enthused by the choice of music throughout, but then it’s not really my scene man. The performances were all excellent with Mark Wahlberg and Tyrese Gibson taking most of the spotlight, but I thought nobody put a foot wrong throughout. Over all a gritty realistic and sometimes brutal revenge thriller. Maybe a little too slow for some in the beginning but the pace does pick up (I promise).
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.2/10.
IMDb Score: 6.8/10 (based on 70,231 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 49/100: (Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 55/100 (based on 367,861 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Damian: Call me an ambulance.
Bobby: What? For my Dog bites? Nah, I'll be fine.
Bobby: I wanna make a toast to Evelyn Mercer, the greatest mother four degenerate bastards ever had. Pour me and my brothers another round, and some nice warm milk for my little sister.
Jack: Man, I will drink you under the table.
Bobby: We're not talking about sperm, Jack, this is whiskey.
Bobby: Jack, it was a questionable kill.
Jack: What makes you think that?
Bobby: Boy, it's sad, you growing up without a father. Nobody taught you anything, did they? Maybe I should've stayed around longer and held your little hand, huh sweetheart? Sometimes pros will cover up their shots with another crime, like a burglary or something, then pay a witness to throw the cops onto the wrong suspect.
Jack: Why would anybody wanna kill the sweetest woman in the God-damn world?
Bobby: I dunno, Jackie. I dunno.
Lt. Green: You keep knocking on the devil's door long enough and sooner or later someone's gonna answer you.