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Brother, The

1/10

Stars: Tygh Runyan, Anthony Head, Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Jed Rees, Noémie Merlant, Sean Cronin, Rob Dixon, Michael Culkin

Director: Ryan Bonder

Slow, extremely violent, minimally plotted crime drama, giving its actors little to do but brood moodily or inflict maximum damage with revolvers, fists, shards of glass or nail guns.

Returning to London from Canada, Adam Diamond (Runyan) is soon drawn back into a world of violence instigated by his father Jack (Head), an arms dealer freshly released from a Colombia jail, and his even more ruthless Uncle Reuben (Dixon) whose wife (Stewart-Wilson) Adam has fierce sex with when she visits him.

He and his brother Eli (Rees), a pianist/enforcer who apparently suffers from Asperger's, although the film never makes this clear, are drawn into an assignment to remove a wanted man from a safe house and dispatch him to Reuben.

Finding two men in the house, Adam beats them both to a pulp trying to find out which is the one they want.

The rest of the plot, apart from sex scenes between Adam and a deaf French girl (Merlant), concerns a hard drive which Jack gives to Adam, containing information that could fatally harm Reuben and those shady figures whose interests he represents.

Most of the characters are beaten, tortured are shot in an unpleasant but sleep-inducing film which leaves only a couple of them alive. Leading man Runyan is just barely adequate, and crisp, clear photography by Brian Johnson is the doomed venture's only asset.

David Quinlan

UK 2014. UK Distributor: Kemistry Films. Colour by Filmscope.
84 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 16 Sep 2016