"brings the familiar western genre to the screen exploring it with the right amount of humour and nuance with male relationships and bonding at its core"
John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix star as the titular brothers Eli Sisters and Charlie Sisters respectively in this character driven western. It follows the story a pair of hitman bothers, charged by their employer Commodore (played by Rutger Hauer) to hunt down and kill Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed) a gold prospector.
The Commodore informs the brothers that Hermann has stolen from him. He is also pursued by John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) under instruction of the Commodore, he's been tasked with tracking and detaining him until he can be handed over to the brothers.
Throughout the film it's established the brothers are close and have been on their criminal path for a number of years, long enough to build up a notorious reputation. As they embark on their pursuit of Hermann, we find travelling to California to be financially beneficial to the Gold Rush.
On his journey, Hermann notices John Morris a couple of times and eventually engages him in conversation. Gyllenhaal gives the impression of genial person and the pair end up bonding. Unbeknown to Hermann, John has ulterior motives and hopes to hand him over to The Sisters Brothers at a rendezvous point in Jacksonville, Oregon.
When Hermann learns of John's plans, he confronts him at gunpoint, however he is overpowered, In his moment of despair he explains he's created a chemical formula for extracting gold from running water and this is what the Commodore is in fact after. Also that he expects to be tortured and killed in pursuit of the formula. Believing that he is telling the truth and is innocent, building upon their earlier bond, John helps Hermann escape. Joining him on mission to obtain gold via his chemical formula.
The brothers still in pursuit of Hermann Warm have encountered several misfortunes of their own before arriving in Jacksonville where they discover they have been betrayed and now have to continue their pursuit, now for both Hermann Warm and John Morris to the town of Mayfield.
The Sisters Brothers brings the familiar western genre to the screen exploring it with the right amount of humour and nuance with male relationships and male bonding at its core and highlighting the circumstances in life that determine what makes us "good or bad" carving out the route we may end up taking in life.
This is done at a slow pace that may alienate some viewers, however if you can overcome this, this character driven vehicle for major actors is a very enjoyable film with great performances earning itself a very worthwhile four and half stars.