“If I feel like pistol-whipping his ass to get paid, then that's what the fuck I'm gonna do.” So says motocross rider/occasional drug dealer Jesse (Beau Manley) midway through Nick Parada's Bro', a film with its finger on the pulse of a subculture for whom this line is more or less a manifesto. Parada uses the seemingly innocuous backyard keggers, sideways hats, and casual sexual liaisons of L.A.'s bro culture as the starting point for a look at one nondescript young man's (Will Chavez) foray into the underbelly of something we know he's not ready for long before he does. Fitting, then, that neither our mild-mannered protagonist nor the film as a whole is quite as gritty or street as both initially appear: all the chest-puffing is defensive rather than aggressive. While ultimately a cautionary tale, Bro' sometimes toes the line so closely that we're not sure whether to laugh at, pity, or cheer for these people. Still, Parada puts us so close to his characters that our ambivalence toward them becomes a curious source of intrigue in and of itself—not so much to see what they might do next, perhaps, but rather what we'll end up thinking of them.
Nick ParadaBeau Manley, Colin "Scummy" Morrison, Will Chavez, Alexandra Mason, Rebekah Graf, Harris James Maynard, Gunner Wright, Larry Fessenden, Danny TrejoKim MacKenzie, Nick ParadaRobert Parada, Nick Parada, Shaoky K. Taraman, Khaled K. SolimanIndependent Pictures