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– by Daniel Tafoya

What would you do for your brother? How far would you go outside the law to save him from an unjust prison sentence? Jai Courtney’s character Callahan has to confront those questions in the new drama Semper Fi, and they’re made all the more complicated by the fact that he is a police officer, sworn to serve and protect.

Cal’s half brother Oyster (Nat Wolff) is a royal screwup, having been convicted of a couple felonies and is still not on the straight and narrow path. Cal gets him into the Marine Corp Reserves though, along with himself and his longtime friends, and the boys are suiting up to ship out. The night before, while out drinking, two guys jump Oyster, and he accidentally kills one in the pursuant scuffle. Cal goes overseas only to return to his brother having been convicted to a 25 year sentence, far past what he should have received for his crime of self defense. Cal, being a changed man, and not necessarily for the better, from his Middle East service, concocts a plan to break his brother out and get him across the border. The question exists though, whether his brothers in arms will join him on this crazy mission and if so, will the plan succeed or will they die trying?

Jai Courtney and Nat Wolff have great chemistry as the half brothers Cal and Oyster. Though they have a very complicated relationship, their love for each other shines through and is palpable onscreen. Beau Knapp as Milk and Finn Wittrock as Jaeger also stand out in their supporting roles. They’re longtime friends of Cal’s and are part of his team in Iraq, the latter losing a leg in the process.

Some of the difficulties soldiers face upon Stateside return are portrayed in the film. Cal seems traumatized after killing a man overseas and is given to rash acts and anger. Meanwhile, the injured Jaeger faces a long period of physical rehabilitation, but thankfully has the support of his comrades.
Semper Fi portrays a tale of loyalty taken to its limits. It grips the viewer with its story of brotherhood tested and sacrifices made.

In this day and age of selfishness and egotism, it is nice to see a story about people who are capable of more than that.

Recommended if you liked: Warrior, Pride and Glory, Thank You for Your Service

FINAL GRADE: B

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