dragged across concrete

director: s. craig zahler (brawl in cell block 99)

Starring: mel gisbson, vince vaughn, tory kittles and michael jai white
 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

★★★

Once two overzealous cops get suspended from the force, they must delve into the criminal underworld to get their proper compensation.

Mel Gibson made a bit of a comeback with the critically acclaimed WWII film Hacksaw Ridge but then disappeared from view again. Well he’s back - with Vince Vaughn no less - in a down and out gritty, violent police action drama. 

 

Two police detectives find themselves suspended from duty when a video of their strong-arm tactics is leaked to the media. With little money and no options, the embittered policemen descend into the criminal underworld and find more than they wanted waiting in the shadows.

 

The narrative shows us two different worlds: that of the two cops and of Henry, a low level criminal and how their two worlds will eventually collide. The story works, pulling us into its fine fabric with deep exposition and an exploration of the police officers Ridgeman and Lurasetti and Henry. 

 

Where the film stumbles is the way in which it falls into unnecessary graphic violence that does little to serve the story and comes off kinda cartoonish. There’s also a particular scene where Ridgeman and Lurasetti interrogate a female suspect who is partially naked. Although you don’t see ‘anything’ it’s disturbing and ultimately unnecessary. 

 

Gibson is brilliant as the jaded senior cop and still has that steely look that pierces right through the screen and deep into your soul. You would never mess with him. Vaughn is equally good and gets to sink his teeth into a more gritty less comedic role. 

 

A good narrative with gritty performances from Gibson and Vaughn Dragged Across Concrete is ultimately let down by unnecessary graphic violence that at times comes off cartoonish. 

★★★

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Dragged Across Concrete is available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital from all good retailers. 

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