#35 – Dragged across concrete – Review

Written & Directed by – S Craig Zahler

Starring – Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Don Johnson, Laurie Holden and Jennifer Carpenter

The Plot

Two Detectives get caught up in a PR scandal after a big bust they made where footage was found of them being too aggressive with a suspect they arrested. Being sent off duty for 6 weeks without pay Gibson gets involved on the other side of the law to make money for his sick wife and move his family out of the hell hole they live in.

When the two Detective’s get involved in a heist gone wrong and things go from bad to worse in this gritty detective tale.

The Cast

Mel Gibson – Detective Brett Ridgeman

Gibson shines as the grizzled Detective

Vince Vaughn – Detective Anthony Lurasetti

Vaughn turns in an understated performance

Tory Kittles – Henry Johns

Kittles really stands out as a man just released from jail trying to support his mother and brother

My thoughts *Spoilers *

At over 2 and a half hours of its runtime this film is a slow burn with a very gritty and grindhouse vibe to it. I really enjoyed this film and while it’s gory and violent in moments it’s much more palatable that Zahler’s initial film Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in cell block 99. Dragged across concrete is a very contemplative film with a lot to say about society today and how we judge people through media.

Mel Gibson gives his best performance in years. I’m a massive Gibson fan and to see his as this beaten and worn out Detective that’s spent over 30 years on the job. He’s explosive and you can see from looking at him he’s bubbling with rage and anger just below the surface.

Gibson and Vaughn are a great pair. They have a good dynamic and their chemistry is great to watch.

I was ready for anything to happen when I watched. I’m a fan of Brawl in cell block 99 and I know how violent and quick the gore comes in one of Zahler’s films. There’s a feeling of brutal honestly in the portrayal of violence in his films and in dragged across concrete it’s used very well.

The whole section with Jennifer Carpenter’s character really seemed a little random and unnecessarily cruel to me. She’s playing a woman who’s not willing to leave her child and return to her job at the bank. She’s used all her maternity leave and sick leave and is forced back to work by her husband because they need the money and she needs to get out of the house and back to reality. Of course it’s on the day of the heist and of course she gets murdered in the most gory way possible. With her fingers blown off and her face left unrecognisable as she’s blown to bits by a machine gun.

Kittles as Henry John’s was a great character. His love for his friends and family are honorable and seeing him walk away at the end was surprising and the ending was so cool. Henry gets the gold and gets his family living the good life seemingly consequence free. The ending was surprisingly uplifting considering how his previous 2 films wrapped things up.

Sometimes it’s just entertaining to watched some fucked up people do fucked up things. Zahler clearly has a vision for this film and he goes for it.

Violent, intense & unflinching

I’m looking forward to what Zahler brings out next. Each one of his films has a similar feel and tone but cover wildly different content.