HALF BROTHERS (2020)
From the producer of Role Models comes the buddy film that you have seen before in various incarnations with a plot that could have all been avoided had the father not played games with his children on his death bed.
When Renato (Luis Gerardo Méndez) discovers that he has a half-brother named Asher (Connor Del Rio), his shock is quickly overtaken by a scavenger hunt/road trip planned by their ailing father. As a total package, Half Brothers is a fine film that will put a smile on your face here and there while eliciting a few laughs. However, there is zero chemistry between Méndez and Del Rio and, in the case of a buddy comedy, you sort of need that. Del Rio’s Asher is particularly frustrating throughout as he plays the oaf of the two who you’re pushed to feel for in an “aw well, he’s trying” sort of way. Méndez’s character is simply a jerk whose developmental journey throughout he film lacks any believability and almost serves as a forgotten subplot. While there are some emotional moments in Half Brothers, they’re predictable and short-lived.
My biggest gripe with this film is that the entire premise is bonkers. As the father lays on his deathbed, instead of explaining everything that has transpired in his life to his children, he chooses to send them off on one last game (as he had been known for). While the pair finds success along the way to the journey’s conclusion, you’re left with a reveal that will leave you scratching your head and not feeling any better about the late father. There certainly is something here; director Luke Greenfield clearly could deliver with a better script and overall premise. The settings are beautiful and the the film itself is technically solid. Sadly, Half Brothers never quite gives you a fulfilling experience.
Half Brothers is in limited theaters Friday, December 4th, 2020.
Photo from The Playlist