Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta… well, not always. Written and directed by Keith Sutliff (Tempting Fate 2014), The Mason Brothers shows you the horrors of when things go wrong.
In this tale, a quartet of bank robbers, led by Ren Mason (Sutliff), are foiled by a rival gang. Ren’s brother, Orion (Michael Ryan Whelan), is killed and Ren’s other brother, Jesse (Brandon Sean Pearson), goes berserk. Trying to play peacemaker is the fourth robber, Gage (Matthew Webb). The mission is to find out who killed their brother.
Sutliff decided to take a different approach with this movie. We get a brow-beat scene after the opening credits but then rather than the typical “beat up the bad guys and shoot up the city” approach, we get a totally cerebral, verbal and mental tone for the remainder. No punches are thrown, no guns are fired and no one gets killed. There are plenty of f-bombs thrown around by the hot-headed Jesse, but there’s positively no action at all until an hour into it.
After a tip from family friend Jerry (Tim Park), they corner one of the rival gang members named Diego (Gregory Gordon) and the pliers come out. In a day and age where every little bit of gore is shown, Sutliff takes the psychological approach, focusing more on Diego’s facial reactions than the actual damage they’re causing.
That’s where the viewer has to make a choice. Do they accept this as being a more psychological movie or do they say, “There’s no action in The Mason Brothers, so forget this!” If you can accept right off the bat that this isn’t a gory, shoot ’em up action flick, the better it will be for you. Like I said before, it takes guts to keep the gore and action to a minimum in this day and age. Keith Sutliff manages to pull it off in style. The Mason Brothers offer a rare chance to relax yet still be intrigued with no threat of grizzly violence that could scare off a lot of the squeamish. Brandon Sean Pearson and Matthew Webb steal the show as they are the most prominent cast members featured.
All in all, it’s an interesting concept to have all psych and no substance. The Mason Brothers stand out amongst the violent crime dramas that have come out the past few years, such as Gangster Squad. If you like the dark endings, then this will be for you. The movie comes out on April 14, 2017, so check it out when you can.