theriverjordan’s review published on Letterboxd:
“The Kid Brother” captures the lawless ingenuity necessary to survive in the Frontier.
This rough and tumble survivalism is brought to bear - by the bespectacled Harold Lloyd.
As the runt of Hickory family (residents of Hickoryville), Lloyd’s youngest child wrecks shame on the sacred Hickory name by wasting away his time on marginally useful and mostly impracticable inventions.
Always in the shadow of Keaton and Chaplin, perhaps Lloyd took the struggle of the third child personally. But in “Brother,” he earns his inheritance in silent film legend. Where Chaplin exemplified pathos of the heart, and Keaton spunk of spirit - Lloyd was emblematic of the perpetual optimism of exploration.
It makes him an adept fit for a film set on the edges of the new frontier. Lloyd’s persona is unendingly curious. He tries. Everything. And when he fails - and he usually does - he tries again.
“Kid Brother” is a work with some narrative trips and tonal bumps. But it’s an effort rife with lust for creativity. And when the intent is pure - it’s impossible not to cheer Lloyd on as he picks himself up and tries again. And again.