"Reel Reviews: ‘Half Brothers’ is a rollercoaster ride of hilarious, dramatic moments" by: Jessica Shepard

   It seems like most of the movies lately are re-hashing old stereotypes and storylines while trying to breathe new life into them.
   But, they only make little changes and hope for the best turnout.
   I’ve got to say that “Half Brothers” seems like one of those sorts of movies since it reminds me of several others from years past.
   In fact, it mirrors many comedic road trip films like “Dumb and Dumber” (1994), “Due Date” (2010), and “The Hangover” (2009.)
   Well, at least I think it borrows from those other films quite a bit and just puts the twist of the main characters being polar-opposite half-brothers versus a group of friends or just two friends.
   Half Brothers is a comedy film directed by Luke Greenfield from a screenplay by Eduardo Cisneros and Jason Shuman.
   The movie runs for one hour and 36 minutes and is rated PG-13 for some violence and strong language.
   Also, don’t worry about not understanding or speaking Spanish – there’s plenty of subtitles to help get the point across!
   It stars Luis Gerardo Méndez, Connor Del Rio, José Zúñiga, Vincent Spano, Bianca Marroquin, Pia Watson and Juan Pablo Espinosa.
   A 1994 prologue has engineer Flavio (Espinosa) enjoying a close, playful relationship with only child Renato (Inigo) in their native San Miguel de Allende.
   But a steep economic downturn forces dad to leave his wife Tere (Marroquin) and son behind in order to seek work in the United States, along with many others.
   While he promises he’ll soon return, we quickly learn that that promise is broken and it breaks Renato’s heart.
   As a present-day adult, Renato (Mendez) is the founder of his own successful aviation company, engaged to doting Pamela (Watson).
   Yet he has trouble relating to her admittedly weird kid (Salazar) by a prior relationship and has no real friends due to his general difficulty at making friends and having no sense of humor.
   When a call comes informing that his long-estranged father is dying in Chicago, Pamela insists he travels there and says that his estranged father Flavio is “the source of all your issues.”
   In contrast to Renato’s stiff formality and expensive style, the “Ugly Americanisms” begin piling up as soon as he lands, compounded by a chance encounter with an “idiot” in a coffee shop.
   Unfortunately, that idiot turns out to be his own unknown half-brother Asher (Del Rio), to whom he’s formally introduced over dad’s deathbed.
   Flavio tasks the two siblings with what Renato not inaccurately terms a “scavenger hunt,” a cross-country journey that will reveal why their father left one family for another.
   And that lays the groundwork for watching a road-trip buddy comedy of the familiar “killjoy vs. wacky free spirit” type, and it isn’t hard to tell that the Asher half of the equation is primarily going to be annoying for Renato.
   I mean, it has its funny moments and a few sentimental ones, so, I ended up enjoying the film more than I expected.
   But, it’s also no real loss if you wait for it to become a rental or a streamed video either.

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