Half Brothers is okay for about half its 96-minute running time. The other half is really lame, bro. The movie begins with a lot of promise: a father and son are out in a field in Mexico flying a remote model plane. They are best buds. Life is good. Then the Mexican economy tanks and dad leaves for greener pastures in America, tearfully vowing to return to his family as soon as possible. He never comes back.
Fast forward about two decades, and the son Renato (Luis Gerardo Méndez) is a successful aviation executive with serious daddy issues. When he gets a call that his father Flavio (Juan Pablo Espinosa) is on his deathbed in Chicago and wants to see him, Renato balks – in part, because he’s five days away from getting married. But his fiancé insists he go, hoping Renato can get the closure he needs to become a friendlier, more patient guy and stepfather to her son. So off he goes to Chicago, where he is shocked to discover he has a free-spirited half-brother Asher (Connor Del Rio) and that their father has hatched a plan to force his sons to take a roadtrip together, to unravel the mystery surrounding Flavio’s journey to America and his disappearance from Renato’s life.
At that point, Half Brothers turns into a very uneven roadtrip comedy replete with bar fights, a stolen goat, a convent, a pawn shop, and lots of sibling bickering – and eventually, bonding. You can pretty much watch the trailer and get the whole story, sans the final clues as to what drove Flavio’s choices. Unfortunately, the clues – and those choices – make very little sense and simply don’t track with dad’s inherent nature. (For heaven’s sake, just pick up the phone!)
On the plus side, there are a few funny moments, the occasional heartwarming moment, a Renato that looks like a young Hugh Jackman with a hot Spanish accent, and a best supporting goat. The rest is just… to quote the goat… mehhhhhhh.