Broken Horses

Blood is thicker than water is an old adage that most people are familiar with and many believe in. Director and co-screenwriter Vidhu Vinod Chopra attempts to bring this sentiment to the screen in his latest film.

Jacob (Anton Yelchin – Terminator: Salvation, Star Trek: Into Darkness), a young man who was pretty much brought up by his older brother Buddy (Chris Marquette – Freddy vs. Jason, The Girl Next Door) after their father (Thomas Jane – The Mist, Deep Blue Sea) was murder while they were young, plays the violin and has tried out for the philharmonic. His life is rather busy as he is also engaged to be married to his live-in girlfriend, Vittoria (Maria Valverde – Exodus: Gods and Kings). Before they get married Jacob decides to return to his hometown, a sparsely populated town on the Mexican border, for the first time in eight years to see Buddy.

broken horsesOnce there he quickly realizes that things have changed. A lot. His brother Buddy, who is mentally disabled, is completely under the control of local bad guy, Hench (Vincent D’Onofrio – Full Metal Jacket, Jurassic World). Hench has preyed upon Buddy’s naiveté and his need for revenge for his father’s death and transformed him into a killer. In the border wars going on between Hench’s gang and others Buddy has killed time and time again.

Time and distance cannot break the bond between these two brothers and so Jacob vows to get his brother out of this dangerous situation. He attempts this by becoming one of Hench’s men. A dangerous game, but the only way he can see to get Buddy out alive.

Chopra’s film is slick, artistic, filled with ear catching dialogue, and a strong soundtrack and yet you leave it feeling a little empty. Empty because you can sense all the potential here for a satisfying stylized film. The themes here are familiar yet worthy of exploration. Falls on its face a little because of its implausibility. Implausible even in the film world. That despite the great visuals/cinematography and strong acting from D’Onofrio, Yelchin and Marquette.

Another flaw of the film is the story. Despite the fact that it should be a moving tale of brotherly love no matter the circumstances it fails to move you as it should. And it goes on predictably behind the unsteady hand of the director.

Special Features:
-A Glimpse (Through the Eyes of the Crew)
-The Inception
-The Look
-Introducing the Crew: Bollywood Style
-Behind the Scenes of Introducing the Crew
-First Day of Shoot
-Finding Buddy
-Vidhu Vindo Chopra in Action
-Last Day of Shoot
-Introducing Hench
-Brothers are Forever
-The Ranch
-Wrap Party Video
-Previews of Air, Insidious: Chapter 3, Extinction, Lake Placid vs Anaconda, Into the Grizzly Maze, No Way Jose

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