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It's been a long time since we've seen a film this well crafted with this much unflinching dialog and punishing violence. All of which are perfectly appropriate for the film's storyline. It’s been so long in fact that we are shocked for its lack of "pc" as if stumbling from a somnolence that has confined and shackled cinema and storytelling for more than the past decade. With a touch of Quentin Tarantino & Tony Scott's True Romance or Scorsese's bone-crushing tension of Goodfellas, S. Craig Zahler's script and direction give us everything worth watching included in its 158 minute run time. Though Mel Gibson reminds us of his superb acting skills as Brett Ridgeman, Vince Vaughn as Anthony Lurasetti and Tory Kittles as Henry Johns are exceptionally indelible in their roles. Benji Bakshi cinematography seems perfectly, beautifully etched as if from the film's Concrete title. I give this 4 1/2 stars for high marks in all phases of filmmaking except perhaps an ending which while satisfying seems cobbled on and a bit anticlimactic. Nonetheless, a must-see for every cinephile.
First I want to say that I don't understand the people saying this movie is unrealistic. It's a movie, of course, but it's still LEAGUES more realistic than 99% of movies that get wide theatrical releases. Anyway, enough about those troglodytes.
What I really like about this movie is that it doesn't force any messages on you or tell you exactly how to feel. It simply presents you with a series of memorable characters and events and lets you draw your own conclusions. One of the leads is very arguably a racist; the other is an accessory to several murders. Does that mean the film is condoning racism and murder? Decide for yourself; the movie won't decide for you. And that's just the surface. There many other issues the movie makes you think about. I won't go into detail about what they are because that would involve getting into spoilers, but I will say I found myself thinking about this movie for days after because it's the kind of movie that makes you think, and that's getting rarer and rarer. So give it a shot. Challenge yourself.
This movie is a raging dumpster fire. They tried to score some cheap points with excessively violent acts, but the entire movie was as bad and unbelievable as a Jussie smollet police report. They had veteran cops doing stuff so dumb, they were like the girl running upstairs instead of out the front door in a horror movie... Don’t do this movie to yourself.
This movie like so many movies being made today by Hollywood and Netflix seems like they are mocking movie making. This movie looks like some producers came to a high school drama class and said "we will give you some well known actors and $50,000 so you can make a movie!" This movie is about as entertaining as watching paint dry. The actors appear tired and bored with their roles and like so many other new release movies, just not realistic. Not sure what happened to movie making, but this low budget crap being passed off to us as a legit movie is just plain old. I have learned my lesson and won't be renting this new stuff again.
It is as if Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn are introducing two or more new actors to us. First I will mention and set aside the cameo appearance by Don Johnson. And then applaud the acting by Michael Jai White (Biscuit) and Tory Kittles (Henry Johns). Their performance was better than anything than I have seen in a while. Two soft-hearted thugs hired by a ruthless killer. What follows next is a series of sad stories.
It's hard to believe that Mel Gibson actually put his name on this. For a very talented actor, director, this is disgraceful. The script, the scenes, the incontinuity of the story, the plot - it's not even that "good kind of junk" to watch — It's really a 0 stars review.
My no mistakes, DraggedAcrossConcrete is a film like no other. It makes no apologies, offers no answers and does not concern it's subject matter between right and wrong. And what a breath of fresh air that is. A film without a consciences, especially given this ridiculous PC do gooding world we live in now where it's pretty much illegal to be a man!
On the face of it, DraggedAcrossConcrete us nothing original. Two disgraced cops suspended from duty, with personal problems getting worse, they decide to commit a heist. Actually that sounds really dull. But it's not. It feels and is very original. But in a subtle way. But yet brutal and hard.
The movie is a slow burner, taking its time over every single scene and gesture, but somehow it feels like there is loads going on. And there is, but you have to look under the surface and take it all in because I promise you, it really pays off.
Mel Gibson is fantastic as an old school cop who has not changed or refused to change for 30 years on the force (his 80s mustache signifies this). In some ways he is like a cynical and grumpy Martin Riggs if the Lethal Weapon character was kept the same as the first film. Vince Vaughn does a decent job as Gibson's younger more positive partner, something I was not really looking forward to because Vaughn is normally someone I have no time for. But I get why he was cast with Gibson because if they teamed Gibson up with most other actors the film probably would have gone into buddy cop mode. What Vaughan does is to keep the film more grounded. Not that Gibson needed that as he brilliantly plays everything down. The rest of the cast are all superb, pretty much perfectly poised.
There is loads to like here with terrific performances, standout production design, and on occasion brutal and graphic violence. This is a film that Quentin Tarrintino SHOULD still be making and not his self indulgent pretentious rubbish these days.
If it was to have been more mainstream or alternativy cast (something I find fun to think about) then DraggedAcrossConcrete would have worked equally well with Kurt Russell, John Travolta and or Nicolas Cage.
Oh God I've just realised that I've done a sensible and mature film review. That's not acceptable so I'll finish off by saying.... bottom, fart, boobs, bum, willy, knob end.
2.0 out of 5 starsWedding Crashers 2: Nightmare in Blue
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 24, 2019
Three movies into the 'cult' of director S. Craig Zahler and for me personally, I'm still not feelin' it. On the surface, his predilection for macho genre blending heroics would normally be right up my alley, but thus far I've been left cold following his debut 'Bone Tomahawk', the ludicrously titled 'Brawl in Cell Block 99' and now 'DraggedAcrossConcrete'. Even his screenplay-only foray into marionette mayhem with 'Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich' lacked the lunacy of its progenitor and resembled a warmed over microwave dinner, rather than the juicy, blood red steak it so clearly should have been. Anyway, I digress - onto the review...
When police officers Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) are suspended following a bout of rough 'n tumble with a hapless perp, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Ridgeman, an older cop with a disabled wife and bullied daughter alongside Lurasetti, much younger but constantly in turmoil if his longterm partner will marry him - hatch a plan to rob career criminal Lorentz Vogelmann (Thomas Kretschmann). However as with all best laid plans, things take a turn for the worse when Vogelmann's hit becomes bloody and the two cops (alongside hired get away drivers Henry (Tory Kittles) and Biscuit (Michael Jai White) become embroiled in the darkest night of their lives...
I really wanted to like this movie. Going in, its got all the right elements: Blistering lead performances from Gibson, Jai White and Kittles alongside a story that is ripe for tension and soul searching. However, a near 3-hour running time slow proceedings down to a mere crawl and at times I was hoping the film would kick into high gear; which sadly it doesn’t. Listen, I have no issue with long movies but they have to hold the attention and this failed to grab me - even with all the fine performances on show. Lead Gibson is solid and its his show all the way: Older and defined, he’s the old gunslinger in a Sam Pekinpah movie (which director Zahler obviously OD’ed on as a kid) and commands the screen whenever he’s there… which is a lot. Sadly, the usually reliable Vaughan barely registers in an underwritten role which basically has him either eating all the time or making sad face about his wedding plans… Thankfully, co-star Tory Kittles is a revelation and flanks Gibson in a solid two hander, making them the real ‘buddy duo’ of the piece. Michael Jai White is also excellent (as always for me) with a mere support role, but makes it his own. Witness his anxiety ridden performance when driving the van - its subtle, but for me he was the only character in the movie I could relate to and delivered the best performance in the movie. Director Zahler (like a certain Mr Tarantino) obviously wears his influences on his sleeve - but where that director celebrates his ‘rip-offery’ with exuberant set pieces and knowing winks to the audience, Zahler would rather bury it within dull monologues and re-worked genre flicks from days gone by (Jennifer Carpenter delivers a great piece of acting, but her cameo is pure offbeat ‘70s Euro crime-lite)…
StudioCanal’s UK blu-ray release grants the movie a very sharp transfer with bolstering audio alongside a set of extra features which cover the movie’s production, etc. All in all, its not a bad movie and some will find meaning in the pseudo depth of the characters and hackneyed screenplay, but for me it’s just another case of ‘seen it all before’ which may have do something with my age - so best to make the decision for yourself. Thumbs up for the cast (especially Michael Jai White and Tory Kittles) and a rather tense 5 minute get away sequence midway through (that is truly exciting) but thumbs down for the recycled screenplay and pretentious air of superiority that runs throughout the entire endeavour.
4.0 out of 5 starsA GRITTY AND OFTEN BRUTAL AFFAIR
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 23, 2019
After an op police officers/ partners Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) working the streets of Bulwark become suspended without pay by their superior officer for using excessive force during the op - which had been caught on camera. Brett's wife, ill and no longer able to work means that during the suspension there will be no money coming in, so, despite being a long-serving cop Brett calls in a favour from someone he knows who has criminal connections. Brett intends taking the ill-gotten gains from prospective robbers...he has begun to feel that after all the years service he's got little to show for his loyalty, he lives in a rough part of town where even his daughter suffers bullying from local yobs. Meanwhile, ex-con Henry ( Tory Kittles) looking to improve things for himself and his family agree's to become a co-getaway driver with his friend biscuit, unaware that the people he'd be working for were brutal killers not to be trusted. Well, with details of a proposed heist Brett along with Anthony steak-out the said starting point of the proposed robbery Anthony who is about to become engaged is at first wary of Brett's intent, but agree's to go along with it, the target turns out to be a bank, after a brutal robbery the gang join their awaiting drivers to make their getaway. Brett and Anthony who'd awaited the four robbers to emerge set out to follow the van which after a long drive into the countryside reaches the checkpoint This is where Brett and Henry's paths will cross, with a shootout inevitable will the now criminal cops get their hands on the stolen gold bullion? This is a gritty and sometimes brutal film, which, is perhaps a little slow at times and in my view predictable, though it does hold your attention throughout, which is what makes it - , Certainly worthy of a viewing. Footnote - Most films I've seen featuring Vince Vaughn tends to be comedy, nice to see him in a more serious role.
5.0 out of 5 starsS. Craig Zahler kann es einfach!
Reviewed in Germany on August 26, 2019
S. Craig Zahler ist zurück! Nach Bone Tomahawk und Brawl in Cell Block 99 folgt nun DraggedAcrossConcrete. Nachdem Vince Vaughn als ultimatives Biest im Knast Menschen sämtliche Knochen brechen durfte, wurde er dieses mal an die Seite von Mel Gibson gestellt. Eine ungewohnte Kombination, die aber sowas von funktioniert! Mel und Vince überzeugen in ihren Rollen als Anti-Helden. Auch die Nebendarsteller fügen sich sehr gut ein. Es freut mich, dass Zahler immer wieder mit alt bekannten Schauspielern zusammenarbeitet. So sind z.B. Udo Kier, Jennifer Carpenter und Don Johnson wieder mit an Bord. Aber auch die Neuzugänge wie Thomas Kretschmann, Tory Kittles und Michael Jai White machen keine schlechte Figur. Zahler-Typisch wird die Geschichte sehr langsam erzählt, darauf muss man sich auf jeden Fall einlassen, vor allem bei einer Laufzeit von 164 Minuten. Meiner Meinung nach, war der Film keine Sekunde langweilig und hat sich auch kein bisschen gezogen. 121 Minuten hätten aber sicherlich auch funktioniert. Zahler hatte schon immer ein Händchen für Comedy und auch hier wird man auch das ein oder andere mal schmunzeln oder sogar lachen (wir mussten auf jeden Fall das ein oder andere Mal lachen). Auf jeden Fall ist Dragged Craigs lustigster Film. Trotz FSK 16 sollte man etwas Gewaltresistent sein. Körperteile fetzten und Organe werden aufgeschlitzt.. hier geht es schon ziemlich zur Sache. Ich schäme mich auch nicht, wenn ich sage, dass S. Craig Zahler mein neuer Lieblingsregisseur ist. Unglaublich, wie man 3 so unterschiedliche, aber so verdammt gute Filme schreiben und inszenieren kann. Dieser Typ hat es einfach drauf! Für mich mein Favorit unter seinen Filmen und auf jeden Fall Anwärter für den Film des Jahres. 9,5/10
After enjoying the heck out of Bone Tomahawk, I thought I'd check out the other movies from S. Craig Zahler. Whilst I'm waiting for Brawl In Cell Block 99, I took the time to check out this beauty, DraggedAcrossConcrete. A film that I can only describe as a movie Quentin Tarantino wishes he could make.
DraggedAcrossConcrete was initially released in early 2019, this was after it debuted at the Venice International Film Festival in September, 2018. The film is written and directed by the previously mentioned S. Craig Zahler. The film stars an aging Mel Gibson and a fairly round looking Vince Vaughn. They are two police officers that get suspended after a drug bust went wrong. To make ends meet on their time off, Brett Ridgeman (Gibson) enlists his partner Anthony Lurasetti (Vaughn) into depriving some crooks of their drug money. As their plan moves forward, they find themselves deeper in an ever growing hole in which it looks like there's no return.
I honestly didn't know that much about DraggedAcrossConcrete when I bought it. All I knew was it starred the previously mentioned actors and I have enjoyed another one of the director's releases. I've seen many people talking about this movie being overly long and boring online. This is an opinion I can understand. It is without a doubt a slow burn at two and a half hours long. It's also technically a very dialogue heavy movie with a good chunk of it feeling very natural and not necessarily relevant to the actual film plot. Personally speaking, I actually quite enjoyed the pacing of the film. I felt that it took its time and only developed the story when it needed to. In between these scenes, we got to know a number of characters and I felt it was one of the more natural films I've seen in a good while.
It's a visually impressive movie. The quality of the film is really sharp, the amount of detail is fantastic. The set pieces are all very down to earth and real. There's no signs of cheap sets or much in the way of CGI throughout the movie. It's also not an action film by any means but there are a few scenes of intense gun play and some pretty impressive gore. One scene in particular might shock some. I loved it. It was nice to see a film take those sort of risks.
DraggedAcrossConcrete is definitely a type of film I wish people would make more of. There's nothing fancy or flashy about it. It's a straight faced, slow paced, bleak film that really shows just how good Mel Gibson still is and how much promise the director has. If you like your slow burn cop dramas, this might be a good one for you to pick up. It's a really good movie.