Few films are able to create such a perfect blend of action, fantasy, suspense, drama, and horror as BROTHERHOOD. It offers the choreographed acrobatics of CROUCHING TIGER with the dark humor and sharp wit of Voltaire's Candide, and then sets the plot in the midst of a fast-paced epic action-adventure film in the vein of THE 13TH WARRIOR. The characters and dialogue read like prose on the page, giving the entire film the elegance of a modern myth as told during the French Revolution. On top of the brilliant writing, the visual stylism implores a broad color palette with gorgeous cinematography that cause the action sequences to burst with vibrant reds contrasted against cool greens, while the more suspenseful moments are dressed in cool blues and set to fog-laden fields or hidden in dark, earth-tones dungeons. Each of the players contribute outstanding performances, offering unique roles that break past the stock action heroes and create realized knights with believable courage and fortitude on screen. At first glance, the film appears to be an average creature feature, but while the beast the men hunt does serve as the central focus for most of the picture, it is the evil within the characters, themselves, that proves to be most terrifying. The animal is delivered slowly through brief reveals that never allow the audience to put together its entire form in any one moment, which adds to the mystery and suspense as it continues to track and kill mercilessly. BROTHERHOOD truly is a beautiful film that transcends any one genre, but the one thing that makes it difficult to reproach is the long run-time, exceeding 2 1/2 hours in the Extended Edition. It is well worth the ride for anyone that is willing to commit the time, though, and it comes highly recommended! A naturalist and his hunter companion set off into the wilds of France to track a ferocious beast that has been terrorizing the countryside, only to find out that there are greater evils behind its madness..
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