DRAGGED ACROSS CONTRETE (2018)
“Few filmmakers come to mind who could orchestrate these slow-burning set pieces with such precision; it’s like watching a chess game in which everyone thinks they’re a king but most of them are pawns.”
Michael Nordine, IndieWire
Rated R (Extreme violence)
The best thing about viewing movies for the pure entertainment value is the anticipating of what is going to happen next as directed by an accomplished film maker. Some of my most favorite avant-guard directors working today, including but not limited to Christopher Nolan, Michael Mann, Quentin Tarantino, Alex Garland, and Peter Boyle, display their works most often with a crisp, invigorating take on various genre’s. Sure, to loosely throw around “avant-guard” could be dangerous, but you tell me when you have viewed a QT flick and it was completely like a previous work of his. Same for this director of “Dragged”, S. Craig Zahler, the newest member of my fan club of most favorite directors putting out content in the late 2010’s. I have high regard for his three completed movies and this third one is better in many ways than “Bone Tomahawk” and “Brawl in Cell Block 99.”
“Dragged” has some sublime character development as Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn and Tory Kittles give you feelings for their plight in the world of crime in a big city. Zahler allows the viewer another time consuming film (running time 2:39) which never gets stale for the discriminating. If you are of lessor mind set and only want the shootouts, crashes, and killings, this one delivers but not in a 90 minute crapper. Suspense throughout, you never can get a pace on when the shit will hit the fan, and with the extreme violence directed to not only the insignificant role players but to the major characters, you are on an edge throughout.
This one, like his previous two flicks, is violent (the finding of the key was a little gross and the mother having her head deflated as the machine gun does it’s dirty were extreme). Mel Gibson again displays his ability to play the good/bad cop as does Vince Vaughn.
This is a cop buddy flick, but it reminds in a way to Mann’s “HEAT” with some QT thrown in. The minor roles are played with great care, allowing Don Johnson, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, and Jennifer Carpenter supporting the film in a good way. You either love this sort of movie or you loathe it. Blaxploitation flicks of the 60’s and 70’s were my favorites of that day and time, and with Zahler now making films that are distinctly unique is for me exciting. This movie is in everyway NOT a “B” film. It is as good a film that is being made today.
I await for Zahler’s next film, an adaption of his novel “Hug Chickenpenny – The Panegyric of an Anomalous Child” with again Vince Vaughn staring.
The characters are repellent to The New York Times. This means you will love it! And if that’s not enough to convince you, check out what this mommy blogger thought:
“Mel Gibson’s new police brutality movie is a vile, racist right-wing fantasy.”
Marlow Stern, Daily Beast
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