Dragged Across Concrete

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I wish I would stop torturing myself. I must be some kind of masochist, and my favored instruments of suffering are S. Craig Zahler films. All of the things I hated about Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 are present here.

The writing. I don’t understand how someone can write something so inane. It makes even less sense that said writing was done while attempting to pen the script for a gritty crime film. Having one of your main characters utter “anchovies” in lieu of a swear word is not funny. It’s not ironic. It’s juvenile.

I suppose “juvenile” is the perfect way to sum up this film. It’s honestly too bad. Dragged Across Concrete could have been a dark, realistic look at race relations and the public perception of police officers versus the actual everyday scenarios that they find themselves in. It could have examined how pedestrian footage is often out of context and is used to sway public opinion. It could have shown the redemption of a character like Ridgeman (Mel Gibson), realizing that he’s becoming something he hates and changing his ways.

This film is also just bizarre in a lot of ways. From the very beginning, Ridgeman and Anthony (Vince Vaughn) are suspended for something that is worth a half-hearted reprimand at best. Jennifer Carpenter’s character and subsequent scenes are absolutely meaningless and I’m not even sure why they were in the film. The villains are stupid and goofy. The action scenes are absolutely horrific and result in some of the worst death sequences that I’ve ever seen. The culmination and standoff was the weirdest thing I’ve seen since that terrible police shootout in Brawl in Cell Block 99.

Can we just talk about how bad the effects are in this film? I mean, they’re worse than those in Brawl in Cell Block 99. The scene where Kelly (Jennifer Carpenter) gets her hand blown off is absolutely hilarious and looks worse than something straight from the SyFy channel. I realize that Zahler probably blew his entire budget on Gibson and Vaughn, but that’s beside the point.

Speaking of which, those two are wasted on this film. There is absolutely no chemistry, and the script is absolutely to blame. The cinematography here isn’t bad and it makes me wonder if Zahler would be better off simply directing while someone else does the writing.

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