GO BROTHERHOOD Leanly scripted, directed for maximum tension, fast-moving and filled with a surprising amount of droll humor, writer-director Will Cannon's Brotherhood (co-written with Doug Simon) illustrates the catastrophic consequences of boys being boys when groupthink, machismo and the survival instinct all converge. When an ostensibly fail-safe fraternity initiation (robbing a convenience store) fails, the brothers and their pledges find themselves swimming in blood and, in trying to cover their asses, making one disastrous choice after another. Based on Cannon's short film Roslyn, Brotherhood could easily be read as a smackdown of the quotidian cruelty and arrogance associated with frat boys (the film includes a frat party sequence in which the night's big game is “sexually humiliate the fat chick,” while a later scene is a sly, quick commentary on notions of race and criminality), but Cannon and his fine ensemble of actors don't resort to cartoon villainy, even when the asshole quotient is through the roof. Characters make choices that are incredibly stupid, even wildly offensive, but also recognizably human, and as the night spirals out of control Cannon demonstrates a strong hand in controlling the mayhem. He also sets himself up as a filmmaker to watch. (Ernest Hardy) (Sunset 5)
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