Outlaw brothers Linc and Zane Malone put the gang back together for one final bank job: stealing a cool half-million dollars in railroad payroll. As added incentive, the bank at Driscollville is owned by man who had the Malone family farm burned and their kin murdered.
Gathering their team - a beautiful bandit in the least convincing 1880s outfit ever, a lethal ex-preacher who gave up on 9 of the 10 Commandments, a suave gambler in a nice hat, and a couple of other guys who don't matter because they're obvious cannon-fodder - the Malones quickly discover that this is one job that not everybody comes back from.
I don't know why I bought this DVD. As soon as I got it home I remembered that MoviesForMen show "Brothers in Arms" at least twice a week. For free.
Whatever. I bought it anyway. I watched it . Here's what I thought.
In most respects, Brothers In Arms is a standard modern B-Movie Western. Evil town boss, bad guys trying to get out of the racket, bullets that do more damage to minor characters, a bit of bonding around the campfire.. all the usual stuff really.
The most obvious way "Brothers..." differs from the pack is that the good guys aren't your regular WASPs. Having African Americans as the lead in a western has been done before but it is still unusual, hence the slightly laboured title and some anachronistic hip-hop on the soundtrack. There's also some flashy,MTV style editing early on which adds nothing.
David Carradine was clearly having fun as the sneering, amoral Driscoll but manages to keep it on the right side of panto, while the other cast members mostly do a decent job. There's a conscious effort to make the Malones and their crew into characters the audience can root for, or at least understand. How well the film manages to achieve this is debatable. YMMV.
There's a decent allowance of western gunfight action. Nothing especially cool but it's done competently, except for the climax which is a bit silly. And interestingly the closest we get to a romantic subplot is very, very minor indeed and could be construed as a bit tacked-on. It makes the character involved a bit more human so I can forgive that.
On the whole, "Brothers In Arms" is a decent stab at a B-movie with an unusual angle. I found myself getting into it more as the film went on, only to be let down by a finish that was overcooked and overseasoned.
How much did I pay for it? £1.50
Was it worth it? Yes. I thought "Brothers In Arms" was sufficiently watchable to pass my time. You may disagree.
Next time it;'s on MoviesForMen, give it a try and see what you think. By my reckoning, it should be on again in a day or so.