Starring: Luis Gerardo Méndez, Connor Del Rio, José Zuñiga
Director: Luke Greenfield
Running Time: 96 mins
Half Brothers is an American film about a wealthy Mexican man who travels to America to meet his long-lost, dying father, who informs him that he has an American half-brother. Together, the unlikely siblings then find themselves on a road trip across the North American continent where their differences pull them apart, but their family ties bring them ever closer.
I’ve got to say that this film really got on my nerves. It’s not a terrible movie, and I always like Luis Gerardo Méndez in any leading role, but it’s Connor Del Rio as his halfwit half-brother that sadly brings this whole film down, turning it from an odd buddy comedy into a shrill and ultimately irritating road trip movie.
Again, there’s no need to go into a film like Half Brothers expecting a masterful tale of brotherly love, and while that actually might be one of the film’s stronger suits, the fact of the matter is that this comedy movie is awfully lacking in laughs from start to finish.
Though it starts off with a fairly heartfelt back story as to why Luis Gerardo Méndez’s character has become a cynical, America-hating tycoon, the film rapidly descends into chaos when he and his half-brother find themselves on the road together. Despite the fact that he and Connor Del Rio do look like convincing siblings, the pair have no chemistry throughout this film, with Del Rio’s efforts to play off a lovably dim counterpart to Gerardo Méndez’s cold persona ultimately serving to derail much of the movie.
This isn’t a case where two characters being at each other’s throats all along is a fun watch. Instead, Half Brothers falls into the realm of equally irritating buddy road trip comedies like Due Date and The Guilt Trip, both of which border on unbearable to sit through from start to finish.
Along the way, these two half brothers find themselves in all manner of predictable situations, throwing up annoying farce and slapstick while Del Rio’s character always seems to come out on top, despite the fact that he’s the cause of pretty much everything that goes wrong on the pair’s trip.
And this is where it gets most frustrating, because that’s exactly what Gerardo Méndez’s character learns to reconcile towards the latter stages of the story. Of course, that all comes with a fable-esque message of family love above all else, but there’s never really a point where Gerardo Méndez is acting out of turn – in fact, his constant annoyance with his new half-sibling is more than merited throughout.
So that’s why the film’s cheesy emotional finale doesn’t quite work out, despite the best efforts of the story to bring some nice meaning to what is an otherwise ridiculous and infuriating road trip movie, complete with two lead actors that just don’t gel well together at all. So, that’s why I’m giving Half Brothers a 5.9 overall.