7 minutes ago
"We have the skills and the right to acquire proper compensation."
Multiple stories intertwine in this grimey crime thriller from S. Craig Zahler. A small-time crook bites off more than he can chew when he agrees to do a bank job with a crew of psychopaths. Meanwhile, two corrupt cops are stalking the robbers, hoping to earn a little extra on the side since they've been suspended for their brutish behavior. The lines between heros and villians are so blurry that each character stumbles back and forth over them slowly building up to a violent conclusion!
manic_horror_reviews and I both watched Dragged Across Concrete and we can't wait to talk about it. It's the exact type of film we love: a mean spirited slow burner that puts its audience face-to-face with the ugly side of humanity. The movie presents us with casual racism, aggressive nihilism, and crime inducing desperation, and we are left revolted and enthralled. We hate the characters, yet we can't stop watching them. It's like looking at a car accident.
I won't be spoiling too much here, but I will say that the violence is incredibly gruesome. It's not as brutal as Bone Tomahawk, or as excessive as Brawl in Cellblock 99 it fits in it's own place. It's very abrupt -blink and you'll miss a beloved or hated character get cut down- and very realistic. manic_horror_reviews mentioned Green Room in comparison when we were discussing the movie and I have to concur that the two share a similar vibe.
Again, there are a lot of unlikable characters here. Mel Gibson's Brett Ridgemon is almost unapologetically racist -even though he never has to spell it out to the audience- but he is the hero of his own story and it's easy for us to get lost in that before we are served another reminder of his bad side.
S. Craig Zahler is a genius. Dragged Across Concrete is a well-oiled machine. It's a long movie at two hours and thirty eight minutes, sure, but it never once feels like its wasting your time with self-indulgent dialogue and over-the-top setpieces. This film is straightforward, cold hearted, and steady.
I highly recommend it to those who can handle something a little rougher than your average crime film.