The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is the directorial and writing debut of Ryan O’Nan who also stars in this low-budget road movie. The plot follows Alex (O’Nan) as he tries to find meaning in his life after losing his job, band and girlfriend. He teams up with an unhinged “musical revolutionary” called Jim (Michel Weston) and tours across the country playing a series of bizarre gigs. On the way they meet the impossibly beautiful Cassidy (Arielle Kebbel) who tags along for the ride.
The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best will likely divide audiences sharply. If one buys into the music and strangeness of the film it is sure to please. However, if quirky or “off beat” films send shivers down your spine, avoid this film like the plague. The film describes the music that the Brooklyn Brothers make as songs that a six-year-old David Bowie may have written or “The Shins-meets-Sesame Street” kind of songs. The music is very sweet and is certain to help the film find a niche audience.
The film’s comedic matter is a bit of a mess but is generally good. There are jokes about beating up children with learning disabilities mixed in with mumble-core comedy. The best laughs come from the dialogue between the main characters and all of the actors seem to know their craft. The comedic timing and physicality of the performances is very strong with all of the lead characters. The only times the comedy falls a little flat is when some of the minor supporting characters overplay the role which is most notable in the frat house scenes.
It’s an incredibly strong debut from O’Nan, the script doesn’t suffer from any plot holes, the speech is fluid and the story steers away from mawkishness when the temptation was there. It’s a pleasant surprise that the film doesn’t try to wrap everything up neatly at the end, Alex has more of self-realisation than a major shift, in the way he lives his life. The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best does have a great deal in common with numerous other road movies but that is a constraint of the genre. The usual problems beset the band: running out of money, running out of petrol and the “falling out”. A strong script, good acting and genuinely good music manage to raise the movie above what could have been a failed vanity project.
The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best is released in select cinemas on 20th July 2012.
Watch the trailer for The Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best here: