Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler, Dragged Across Concrete is a gritty film that harkens to the days of pulp and hardboiled crime thriller. It is a refreshing movie that avoids being politically correct, but it does not quite have a smooth landing.
Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) are two police detectives who get suspended after an arrest gets caught on camera and they are accused of excessive force. Ridgeman has a wife with MS and a daughter who has been assaulted in their neighborhood. Lurasetti wants to propose to his girlfriend. Through a tip, Ridgeman and Lurasetti start tailing a European criminal named Lorentz Vogelmann (Thomas Kretschmann) whose gang is work with local thugs Henry Johns (Tory Kittles) and Biscuit (Michael Jai White). Johns wants the money to help his mother and little brother. However, a simple operation turns into a violent and bloody showdown between cops and robbers.
It is good to see Gibson back in the saddle. He is a brilliant actor and no less so in this movie. He and Vaughn, who also does an amazing job, have incredible chemistry and their banter is one of the highlights of the film. Likewise, Kittles is incredible as a man who just wants to help his family. He’s a good man who has made wrong decisions and he is set on a redemption arc. Likewise, Gibson is a man who has lived by the rules and is now breaking them because he feels hurt by the system. The contrast between these two characters is a high point in the film.
The movie ignores political correctness and in fact, openly challenges it. That was a refreshing change of pace from the usual Hollywood chump bait.
However, the film starts to fall apart and lose its way toward the climax. A film about two men hurt by the system who just want to make right by their families soon becomes a gory and bloody mess. It leads to a brutal conclusion that leaves you scratching your head and wondering what the point of it all was. A movie that could have been about how a life of crime does not pay turns into just another bloody action film with lots of gore and unnecessary sexual content.
The plot gets lost in nihilism and nihilism is only good when its told in the form of comedy. Otherwise, the plot is just as meaningless as the message it is trying to convey.
Bottom line, the movie has incredible acting all around for everyone involved and it’s lack of political correctness makes it interesting. While it has a great start with a compelling story, it soon devolves into a typical bloody action flick that does not satisfy.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Like cell phones, and just as annoying, politics are everywhere. Being branded a racist in today’s public forum is like being accused of being a communist in the 50s, whether it’s a possibly racist remark made in a private phone call or the indelicate treatment of a minority who sells drugs to children. The entertainment industry, formerly known as the news, needs villains.
PARENTAL CONCERN: Foul language, Blood violence, Gore, Sexual content
Check out the trailer below:
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