The Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best - Review
Review by Jason Palmer
THE Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best is a brilliant little movie burdened with a few flaws. It follows the misfortunes of a luckless good guy named Alex (Ryan O’Nan), who’s stuck in a dead job.
His girlfriend has broken up with him and he’s just been booted out of a two-man band. Enter Jeff (Michael Weston), a socially unhinged outcast with anger management issues who spies a kindred soul in Alex.
So, he (very) reluctantly persuades Alex to leave town and go on a musical tour of America. With Alex’s knack for song-writing and Jeff’s remarkable talent for weaving musical gold from old electronic toys and children’s instruments, the newly named ‘Brooklyn Brothers’ may just stand a chance of making a difference.
The film works so well thanks to the very infectious chemistry between O’Nan and Weston. They both bring a lot to the table and handle the complexities of the comedy and the music with genuine enthusiasm and warmth.
There is plenty of quality supporting talent present and accounted for too with The Vampire Diaries Arielle Kebbel stealing her scenes as a sexy, wannabe music promoter who invites herself on the road-trip.
That 70’s Show stalwart Wilma Valderrama finally re-appears in something – although if you blink you’ll miss his turn as Alex’s smarmy co-worker – and Brat-Pack royalty Andrew McCarthy makes a very welcome return to the big screen as Alex’s brother Brian.
There are also quick cameos from reliable souls Jason Ritter, Christopher McDonald and Oscar-winner Melissa Leo.
After Your Sister’s Sister seriously impressed a few weeks ago, there seems to be a resurgence in quality American Independent cinema and The Brooklyn Brothers happily sits in that bracket.
It may lack the overall tightness of Mark Duplass’comedy but it still delivers belly laughs, poignancy and some seriously good music. It’s just a shame that its timing is so poor – going up against The Dark Knight Rises is just fools folly.
Hopefully, cinemas hold onto this for more than a week so you all get the opportunity to see this.
The soundtrack goes a long way here and marks The Brooklyn Brother’s Beat The Best out as a must-see. Ryan O’Nan, not content with being the film’s star, writer and director also does all of the music too.
This is very much his baby and he has made the film he wanted to – that’s a major selling point knowing how often this creative process is tamed by the big Hollywood machine.
Every track is memorable and will make you want to buy the soundtrack as soon as you leave the theatre.
Overall, then, O’Nan has delivered a very affectionate and fun movie with a lot going for it. Sadly, the final act (including a pointless sub-plot about his brother’s religious beliefs) slows things down too much and affects the overall flow.
But despite this, it’s still one of the brightest new films to come our way for a very long time. Full of snappy dialogue, ridiculously funny circumstance and genuine warmth, The Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best is a delightful watch.
Running time: 98mins
UK Release Date: July 20, 2012