Brothers (2007)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2008-11-03
Summary: It's been done before and better...
After an attempt on their father's life, two brothers are reunited and must decide how to continue their family's crime business. Yiu Tam (Miu Kiu-Wai) has been effectively running things in Hong Kong since his father's retirement, trying to keep firm control over a crime family that is quickly becoming frayed at the edges. After the assassination attempt, Shun Tam (Eason Chan) returns from America where he has been working since leaving Hong Kong when he was 9, his father having received a portent of misfortune that will occur between his sons. It turns out that Yiu Tam is gravely ill, and he must decide how and if to shift the power into Shun's hands. Shun is an unwilling participant in the transfer, but quickly is indoctrinated into the violence of the criminal underworld. All the while, they are being tracked by Chief Inspector Lau (Andy Lau), who is determined to figure out the hierarchical struggle and avert any violence that may spill out into the streets of Hong Kong.

Brothers explores a story that has been done before, and unfortunately has been done better. Really, the only compelling actor in this film is Miu Kiu-Wai and his portrayal of a failing Yiu Tam. Eason Chan is ok, but seems over matched in his scenes. Maybe that's a positive since his character is equally over matched in his new role in the family. Andy Lau plays the same cop character he seems to always when faced with this type of movie and he fails to move the needle once again. Luckily, I didn't know about his tendency to hawk his goods in his film, so the CYMA watch scene didn't annoy me too much. Henry Fong is effectively creepy as Uncle 9, but Ken Tong doesn't do enough to continue the feeling of being a threat to Tam's legacy. For the most part though, the plot of the film feels stale and a retread. Who hasn't seen the younger brother unwillingly forced to take over the crime business film before? "The Godfather" anyone? It's tough to match up with one of the greatest films ever.

Reviewer Score: 6