Noel Clarke has returned to end his ‘Hood’ trilogy, after nearly ten years. After having great success in Hollywood with the likes of Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013), Clarke has finally brought us the conclusion of his urban dramas. Starting off with Kidulthood (2006) and continuing with Adulthood (2008), fans of the series must have known that it wasn’t quite over yet. And after eight years, we have finally returned with some of the original cast, and Clarke taking the helm to direct it for the second (Menhaj Huda directed the first) and final time.

Ten year after the events of Adulthood, Sam Peel (Clarke) is a family man who has stayed out of trouble. Many of the people he has wronged over the years he has made amends with. And the lifestyle he was involved with seems like a long time ago. However, as his brother Royston (Daniel Anthony) performs on stage with his soul band, a hooded man emerges from the crowd and shoots him. The shooter leaves behind a note left for Sam to let him know that not all is forgiven. Now a new threat emerges to not only hurt Sam, but to hurt those he cares about the most. And with Royston’s friend Henry (Arnold Oceng) along to help, Sam has to do everything and anything he can to protect his family, one last time.

Being a big fan of the series myself, Kidulthood was one of my favourite films as a teenager. Ten years later and I still look back with nostalgia and praise. Clarke was smart to make the older fans realise that throughout this time a lot of us have grown up, and a lot of scenes and metaphors are layered throughout to give us this sense of maturity. But at times though, the film is a bit uneven. A comedic side character in the form of Henry is a bit off-putting. Although the series has had a few moments of humour, they were very few and far between. And this aspect unfortunately interferes with certain moments of tension that are ruined for a comedic element that, quite frankly, wasn’t needed. There are also storylines that don’t seem to go anywhere with certain characters, which leave questions unanswered. However this isn’t the first time the trilogy is guilty of this.

The soundtrack is also what made the films what they are. Unfortunately I can’t comment on the artists involved as it is not my kind of music. I will say that the scenes and the music (as always with the hood series) work so perfectly together. Blending the perfect mix of tension and almost heart-stopping accuracy, the music is written perfectly for Sam.

Out of the three films it has to be said, Brotherhood is definitely the weakest entry. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the film still has an unnerving atmosphere of what the antagonists’ true intentions are, and what repercussions may fall on Sam if he does or does not do what they say. I’ll always praise all three films for years to come and this is a solid (although flawed) conclusion to what Noel Clarke will best be remembered for. But with a trilogy like this backing him, he still has some very productive years to come.

Brotherhood is on general release now

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Brotherhood
Part time film maker, writer and film enthusiast based in Dublin.