Independent filmsĀ provide a much needed platform for upcoming directors, actors and script-writers to showcase their talents to a wider audience. Films such as Clerks, The Evil Dead and Memento all helped to launch the careers of their directors and actors, allowing Hollywood to pick up on this momentum to help them forge hugely successful careers. The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is a film from thisĀ mold, written, directed and starring Ryan O’Nan.

Alex (O’Nan) is a failing musician, who is kicked out of his partnership for writing lyrics that are too depressing. He later gets fired from his job for assaulting a co-worker before losing a gig at a School for disabled children after he punches one of them in the face after mistaking a fake knife for a real one. Desperate, depressed and lonely, he wanders a park and meets Jim (Michael Weston) an upbeat musician who is looking for a new partner to tour the US with. The two agree to work together and embark upon a Countrywide tour as The Brooklyn Brothers.

There is a tendancy for budding filmmakers to become a little self-indulgent in their debut features. Away of the confines of time and money, they make bad decisions based on personal preference rather than what might be best for the film. Sometimes this is less of a problem, but in O’Nan and the case of The Brooklyn Brothers, there appears to be a desire to overplay the central duos relationship. This isn’t to say that there’s not fun to be had, but for a running time of a feature film there is far too much shown of their musical interludes and not nearly enough laughs, even for a wry independent comedy.

The characters are sterotypical and rarely expand into anything particularly memorable, although Weston is the standout of the lead duo and his relentlessly optimistic Jim quickly becomes easily cheerable. Unfortunately aside from him and some of the musical interludes there is little to recommend this rather dry, forgettable and disappointing independent comedy. The Brooklyn Brothers not only don’t beat the best, they don’t even try.


Thomas Patrick


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