| November 18, 2010 (South Korea)
Director: Will CanonWriter: Will Canon, Doug SimonStars: Trevor Morgan, Lou Taylor Pucci, Arlen Escarpeta
Summary: A college fraternity initiation rite goes awfully wrong. A bullet wounded frat boy and a kidnapped convenience store clerk end up at the frat house. Panic continues.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English
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File No – YTS921-10419
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Brotherhood 2010 Movie Review
Brotherhood 2010, An all-out thriller, Brotherhood explodes into action immediately and then leaves its audience divided. This grim 70-minute narrative of a botched fraternity initiation makes use of the “what else may happen?” technique to propel the drama relentlessly forward. Thankfully, director and co-writer Will Canon takes a turn off this worn route, choosing a rational denouement for an irrational but entertaining story. Although the beginning alone is effective in drawing you in, the twists provided by Jon Foster and Trevor Morgan are what keep you engaged even when the story bogs down in the middle. The pack mentality and the first act will stay with you long after the credits roll, even if you feel like you went through a hazing yourself. Jump down for my in-depth analysis if you’re interested.
Adam Buckley (Trevor Morgan), a freshman, and his pledge brothers at Sigma Zeta Chi have one more thing to do before they can officially become members of the fraternity. Adam’s pledge brother Kevin (Lou Taylor Pucci) was killed in the last challenge. Frank (Jon Foster), a senior member of the fraternity, tries to keep everyone calm and out of trouble, but his efforts always seem to fall short. Adam may be able to see the way out, but the pack mentality of the fraternity members keeps making things more difficult. Will they come up with a plan together, or will things just keep getting worse?
The concept itself is straightforward, however the plot twists are inconsistent. Some of them are really shocking and authentic feeling, while others seem completely artificial and unconvincing. The abundance of supporting roles is the story’s worst flaw. Sometimes those who are just peripherally involved in the situation are drawn into it under the guise that they can help, yet all they do is make things worse. Plus, they tend to be overused clichés. It’s because of the protagonists that Brotherhood finds its footing again when first-time director Will Canon concentrates on them. Together, Frank and Adam form an explosive combination of intelligence and willpower. They’re pulling in opposite directions because they each envision a different resolution. It’s a tribute to the writing of Frank and Adam, in especially, that you end yourself rooting for them to figure out a way out of their predicament.
Instead of glossing over this with a knowing nod, Canon made the film gritty and dark so that the characters could inhabit it. The tone is established early on and remains constant for the remainder of Act One. Every time you think things are settling down, something unexpected happens. As the camera cuts swiftly from one scene or viewpoint to another, the image quality remains high and the action remains in focus. On top of that, Brotherhood never drags due to its lack of exposition or retrospective moments. The picture is relentlessly forward-moving, and its sudden conclusion may give some viewers a case of the yips. I thought it was beautifully straightforward, without the kind of gaping narrative hole that plagues the conclusions of so many convoluted movies.
Will Canon’s first feature picture has several issues, but the setting is handled with such professionalism that it makes you think a seasoned director was at the helm. Although much of the supporting cast may come across as gratingly cliched or as caricatures of obvious story lines, the protagonists are compelling enough to make you want to sit through the film’s flaws. Since Brotherhood is so swift and compact, it manages to hold your interest throughout. Some people may be thrown off by the finale, while others will find the beginning and the end to be the most memorable parts. There are many release dates for Brotherhood, including tonight in Dallas and next weekend in Los Angeles, as well as VOD availability right now.