Vince (Alex Cord) returns home after serving in the army in Vietnam, reuniting with his brother Frank (Kirk Douglas). Frank has been heavily involved in running the family business as a mafioso. Vince reveals to Frank that he wants to honour the family by joining him at his side and offers to help in any way possible. When Frank hears this, it’s music to his ears and perhaps, a dream finally coming true as Frank can share the load and stress of running things. Now going by the name of The Ginetta brothers, Frank is the muscle and major decision maker, while Vince will use his smarts in paperwork and finance.
While life for the two brothers seems to be going well and business is moving nicely, it’s not long until Frank and Vince receive various orders from The Mob. The question is, will their orders honour the family and their reputation? Now, the loyalty between Vince and Frank will be tested at a whole new level, and doubt and tension between them will begin to rise.
The Brotherhood is best described as a drama and crime story about family, pressure, and loyalty. The film’s introduction is great, and we quickly gain a better understanding of the two worlds of Frank and Vince. I loved seeing how the two leads act and think differently to each other, including their work abilities in the gritty world of crime and the Mafia. While I must say I’m generally a fan of the actor Kirk Douglas, here, while his performance is still great and his work can’t be faulted (mannerisms, vocal accent etc.), I sadly found this role offered nothing overly exciting or new compared to some the actor’s previous work.
The film is quite slow-paced, and despite the strong finale, some audiences may become uninterested in the slow pace and lack of action. Instead, the film is dialogue heavy and focuses on being a family drama with surprising consequences. You can feel the tension building between Vince and Frank, and audiences will begin to question the possibility of betrayal. It’s a nice concept and premise with unpredictable outcomes on the first watch.
Overall, lovers of drama and crime will delight in this family story about honour, loyalty, and possible betrayal among a pair of brothers. It’s a slow-paced story that’s primary goal is to build tension and surprise, and for the most part, I felt the film did this wonderfully. Moving slowly, it builds to a strong conclusion and unexpected finale, which felt quite rewarding and touching. Kirk Douglas as the lead is once again amazing, but sadly I didn’t find his performance overly new, especially when compared to some of the actor’s previous work.