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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25.49%
Worth A Look35.29%
Average: 17.65%
Pretty Bad: 17.65%
Total Crap: 3.92%

4 reviews, 27 user ratings

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Two Brothers (2004)
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by Jason Whyte

"Lions and Tigers in HD! Oh my!"
2 stars

I wanted to like "Two Brothers" a lot. At the outset, the idea is intriguing, following two tiger cubs circa 1920's and their adventures in French owned Indochina. Everything looks like it's boiling to a big adventure. And yet the story doesn't gel that much, the human elements don't always work, and the visual strengths are a bit hard to look at sometimes.

As the film opens, we see two tigers born in Cambodia named Kumal and Sangha (in case you forget this, their names are listed in the credits) as cubs, and the next few scenes let us linger with them as they play and cavort in their wild surroundings. When the film moves to its "human" story, we meet an ivory hunter named Aidan McRory (Guy Pearce) around the time the cubs' parents are killed and seperated. Kumal is sent off to the circus and trained to be a fighter, and Sangha is sent off to live with a royal family.

There are some amusing segments where Kumal and Sangha are at play in villages, but it's mostly cutesy tiger fun. A subplot involving a small boy There's also a good scene where both tigers are brought back together while being pitted against each other in a public fight; the way that director Jean-Jacques Annaud puts this scene together, you get the impression that the tigers are actually acting despite the fact that they're just well trained. They're so good that some of the human actors nearly pale in comparison.

Annaud, who helmed "The Bear" (1989) and "Seven Years In Tibet" (1997) has a knack for interesting stories in beautiful landscapes. "Two Brothers", however, has regrettably been shot in High Definition video (with the occasional 35mm sequence), and the film has a pasty, grainy video look to it, and comes off as more distracting than visually sound. (Most likely that because the HD has been blown up for Cinemascope 35mm prints, everything is magnified.) I understand the use of digital photography to get closer to the animals, and I'll admit that they act beautifully infront of cameras, but the film is nearly an eyesore.

At the end of it all, younger kids may like "Two Brothers" for the tigers and wildlife, but it's just a bit too drab and uninvolving for everyone else.

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originally posted: 06/28/04 17:11:09
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/28/07 Amanda This movie made me bawllll my eyes out! it was so amazing! 5 stars
3/31/05 Nick Boyd The two tigers are cute and endearing but the human characters bog down the story 4 stars
3/29/05 Danny Not as good as "Born Free" but entertaining for anybody who likes big cats! 4 stars
10/19/04 Misty De Meo I must say that I disagree - the human elements weren't really the focus, and I adored it. 4 stars
9/27/04 Maggie I think this movie was great! i never stopped crying! 5 stars
9/23/04 maxine brillant 5 stars
9/08/04 efilmcritic is the Australian version of the site, A.J. Check for US release dates. Stephanie has a point; I like a bit more 3 stars
9/08/04 Stephanie Throckmorton I love tigers and good nature movies, but this is BOOOOORING!! 2 stars
8/14/04 A.J. Did anyone else realize that this page says that this movie wen't to theraters in Jan. 05? 5 stars
8/08/04 Charlotte Absolutely fab film, the tigers are so cute! Definitely worth seeing... 5 stars
8/04/04 ownerofdajoint don't waste your money.this movie does not know what it wants to be and therefore if fails 2 stars
7/30/04 Matt DeLuca Beautiful movie! 5 stars
7/25/04 nagarajan toot good film to watch 5 stars
7/22/04 Whitney Bullard I took my 3-year old, but I was the one who was riveted. Totally disagree with this review! 5 stars
7/21/04 nicki I cried the whole way through. I love animals and HATE greed. 5 stars
7/11/04 Varney Thought it was a great clean movie. hard to find 5 stars
7/08/04 Virginia & Scott We thoroughly enjoyed "Two Brothers". Had to see (saw & loved "The Bear). 4 stars
7/06/04 Carol Bad movie with a nice ending 2 stars
7/06/04 martha entertaining to a degree 4 stars
7/06/04 Peter Ryter I enjoyed this movie because of the tigers. I was there to enjoy these magnificent animals 5 stars
7/04/04 ron fitzpatrick watching the tiger cubs being brutally separated from their parents was way to painfull 1 stars
6/29/04 brit what ever 3 stars
6/29/04 Erica What movies are meant to be. Eemotionally engrossing and technically excellent 5 stars
6/28/04 Anna Jones Terrilbe - Took 7 year old daughter - we walked out - too much violence!! 1 stars
6/26/04 Thomas Pacheco Cat Movie big deal I guess the kids will like it 3 stars
6/23/04 Ray Beautiful 5 stars
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  25-Jun-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 21-Dec-2004



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