out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Starring: Guy Pearce, Jean-Claude Dreyfus|
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
RunTime: 109 Minutes
Release Date: June 2004
Genres: Family, Drama
|*Also starring: ||Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Freddie Highmore, Oanh Nguyen, Moussa Maaskri, Vincent Scarito, Stephanie Lagarde, Nozha Khouadra, Annop Varapanya||
Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4
In Jean-Jacques Annaud's live action, kids' movie, TWO BROTHERS, the tiger
cub actors are really precious. The same can't be said of the human actors
or the script. So long as the movie is growling, it works, but, when people
speak, it veers between lame and laughably bad. Luckily, most of the
picture is turned over to the two cubs that frolic with a vengeance. You're
going to be saying "ooh" and "ah" a lot, just like you might when watching a
television program on the Animal Planet.
The plot covers most of the standard bases for a movie of this genre. The
young animals lose their parents, and hunters are to blame. Some humans aid
the animals while others are needlessly cruel to them. Since the animals
are permitted indoors, there is the mandatory but still extremely cute scene
of the young animal hiding, E.T.-style, among a kid's shelf full of stuffed
animals. After looking like there is little hope, the movie ends on a high
note with these particular animals living happily ever after. Just before
the ending credits, the film reminders us about how many fewer animals of
this breed exist in the world today. What is different about TWO BROTHERS
and what makes it a tough sell to kids is the pacing, which is extremely
slow. Couple this to a threadbare story, and you can expect major fidgeting
and lots of trips to the bathroom.
The two tiger cubs are wonderfully playful and mischievous. One sweet scene
has the fearless cub chasing a small animal while the other climbs a tree in
fear. The scared one slowly slides down, unable to hold onto the tree
Guy Pearce is given the thankless task of playing opposite the cubs in the
story which is set in Thailand in the 1920s. They upstage him right and
left, but his acting is at least okay, something that can't be said of any
of the other humans, who deliver truly awful performances.
Wait for video and then just skip past any scene not featuring a tiger.
TWO BROTHERS runs way too long at 1:49. It is rated PG for "mild violence"
and would be acceptable for all ages, although many will not possess the
patience to sit through it.
My son Jeffrey, age 15, gave the movie **. He adored the tigers but said he
didn't buy the story and couldn't figure out to which age group the film was
supposed to appeal. His cousin William, age 10, thought it was "pretty
good" and said that he liked the tigers jumping through the fire part best.
William's sister Liana, age 7, thought the film was "okay" and -- when
pressed for more information -- said it was funny. Neither of them were
enthusiastic about it or engaged by it.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes
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