Comedic hijinks ensue when two long lost brothers reunite in Focus Features Half Brothers. Directed by Luke Greenfield, Half Brothers centers on Renato (Luis Gerardo Méndez), a successful Mexican aviation executive. One day he is shocked to discover he has an American half-brother he never knew about — the free-spirited Asher (Connor Del Rio). The two very different half-brothers are forced on a road trip together. Masterminded by their ailing father, Flavio (Juan Pablo Espinosa), tracing his path as an immigrant from Mexico to America.
Eduardo Cisneros & Jason Shuman’s script for Half Brothers is very by the beats. It follows a template we’ve seen before. Renato works too hard and is very uptight, while Asher is the more laid back of the two. Not to mention, Renato is a few days away from his wedding and as soon to be a stepfather. We’ve seen all of the plot beats before, and from the moment Asher and Renato meet, we know precisely where the film is going to end up.
Granted, a film like Half Brothers doesn’t require much from its characters but where the film does shine is where it highlights immigration laws and how it affects families. In that regard, Half Brothers would’ve come across better as a drama and not the comedy that the trailers are making it out to be. Two years ago, I discovered that I had two long-lost half siblings. However, while viewing the film, I found myself invested more in Flavio’s backstory than in Asher and Renato’s story. Out of the three male leads in the movie, Juan Pablo Espinosa as Renato delivers the best performance. Luis Gerardo Méndez and Connor Del Rio are ok in the roles. Still, they just don’t have the emotional punch that Juan Pablo Espinosa does.
I will admit when the brothers do complete the journey and finally acknowledge each other, I did get a little misty-eyed. The sentimental ending is what played a part in my final grade. However, during the age of COVID, it’s not enough for me to recommend you take a trip to the theater to see the film.
Half Brothers opens in theaters today.
Final Grade C-