The forgotten Mark Wahlberg movie storming the Netflix charts
(Credit: Eva Rinaldi)

Film News

The forgotten Mark Wahlberg movie storming the Netflix charts

What do Mark Wahlberg and John Wayne have in common? Absolutely nothing, other than the fact they’ve both starred in revenge-driven movies carrying suspiciously similar premises.

‘The Duke’ reunited with regular collaborator Henry Hathaway for 1965’s The Sons of Katie Elder, a Western that follows a quartet of siblings who reunite in their hometown to attend the funeral of their mother, only to be drawn into a dangerous battle when it transpires the murder of their father has ties to a claim being laid upon their land.

Fast forward 40 years, and Academy Award-nominated Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton’s Four Brothers arrived, which was even backed by the same studio in Paramount but opted not to credit its spiritual predecessor despite the obvious and blatant similarities between the two.

In this instance, Wahlberg comprises the titular tight-knit clan alongside Garrett Hedlund, Tyrese Gibson, and Outkast’s André Benjamin for a gritty tale set in modern-day Detroit. When their foster mother is killed in a robbery gone wrong, they refuse to believe her death was a random accident.

Instead, the quartet take it upon themselves to dig deeper into the shooting, which puts them in the crosshairs of Chiwitel Ejiofor’s local crime kingpin Victor Sweet, a nefarious gangster that’s been using his reputation to make life a misery for anyone who dares get in the way of his ambitious and equally nefarious plans for expanding his empire.

A decent hit at the box office that recouped its budget more than three times over in ticket sales, Four Brothers is an entertaining enough diversion for anyone seeking empty-headed escapism shot through with bursts of jarring violence, bickering sibling dynamics, and the unfurling of latent generational trauma between a surrogate family who grew increasingly distant with the passage of time.

Evidently, Netflix subscribers are among that number considering that Singleton’s hard-boiled suburban noir is currently the second most-watched movie on the streaming service’s global charts this week. Disposable and undemanding action flicks have been Wahlberg’s bread-and-butter for years, and the ongoing popularity of his back catalogue ensures that he’d not going to abandon that side-line anytime soon.

Everyone involved with Four Brothers has been in many better films, but sometimes all anybody wants is to fire up a gritty thriller packed to bursting point with betrayals, revelations, double-crosse, fisticuffs, shootouts, and lessons being learned along the way. Fortunately, that’s something the modestly-successful flick has in spades, and even 19 years after its release it manages to capture a new audience.