Two Brothers

Twin tigers star in coming-of-age parable

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OPENS JULY 23, CERT PG, 103 MINS

From Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Name Of The Rose, The Bear) comes the most feline-friendly movie since The Aristocats. Imagine the most breathtaking wildlife special you’ve ever seen, and you’re halfway there. Except that these big felines can act as well as any A-lister.

Granted, the editing’s clever, but that’s Annaud’s gift. While he’ll always be a good old-fashioned film-maker and never a great or radical one, ride the hiccups in the story and this rattles along with wide-eyed charm. A few decades ago in an exotic land, two cute tiger cubs are separated. One’s flogged to a circus, caged, his spirits battered. The other gets lucky as a rich boy’s pet, only to later be trained as a ruthless killing machine. Nasty humans then pit the brothers against each other in a gladiatorial battle?but will they recognise each other?

Guy Pearce is smooth as a Dr Livingstone-style adventurer, but doesn’t do much. It’s all about the tigers: stunning creatures, burning bright. A family film with guts. Also fur.

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