'Dragged Across Concrete' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital]
(Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, et al / Blu-ray+DVD+Digital / R / 2019 / Lionsgate Films)
Overview: Once two overzealous cops get suspended from the force, they must delve into the criminal underworld to get their proper compensation.
Blu-ray Verdict: Look, I know Steven Zahler's films are not to everyone's taste, but I personally enjoy his directing style. Overall, 'Dragged Across Concrete' is a really solid slow burn exploitation film that has a nice mix of good acting and interesting story telling; but sure, yeah, lacked a certain depth considering the subject matter.
The plot of 'Dragged Across Concrete' starts out simple enough. Two slightly jaded rough around the edges cop are suspended for police brutality.
From there they plan to make a living for their family by robbing what they believed to be a drug deal. Of course not is all as it seems and the film descends into the exploitive aforementioned slow burn thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
The film takes a simple premise and makes a truly fascinating film out of it, that's for sure. It's a tight slow burn that played with expectations as it built suspense.
Finally when the action starts the movie pushes the viewers to the edge with its bleak and dark content. Nothing was quite as it seemed and I was honestly thrown off a number of times with the plots progressions.
If you expect a conventual heist thriller, you will be disappointed, but the film never promised to be conventional, now did it (I mean, read the synopsis!)
For this is a dark and, at times, brutal film. It certainly earns the title of an exploitation film as it explored ideas like police brutality, digital age media, racism, and social, class.
This is not a feelgood action thriller, but a methodical and tension packed film that will play with your emotions and break your heart.
It was bleak and at times ugly, but that seemed to be the point. It is, simply put, a stark and nihilistic look at the extremes humans will go to for financial gain.
Directing wise Steven Zahler's distinct voice definitely came through. His movies are exploitation films that are designed to push boundaries. They are the kind of films that Hollywood really doesn't make any more, maybe for good reason.
Zahler certainly has no problem trying to offend and specifically play with political correctness.
Still I respect his choices from a technical point. Every scene and bit of dialogue seemed to add to the overall narrative and despite the two-and-a-half-hour length of the movie I can't say I was bored at any time.
Plus when the action finally starts, man is it brutal and soul crushing. All of the gunfights are right up there in your face and sure to get your blood pumping. Zahler definitely has an eye for violence, trust me!
I have to talk about the acting as well, of course. Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn are perfect in this film. They really delivered the dialogue well and seem to have genuine chemistry.
Their buddy cop routine actual added some much-needed levity to the film. I won't get into the politics of Mel Gibson, but the man is a great actor.
He perfectly played the role of a seasoned and borderline racist cop out to provide for his family. Vince Vaughn also. I often forget that he knows how to act because of his past comedic career choices.
In closing, 'Dragged Across Concrete' is sure to leave an impact on the viewer, and rightly so. It is a well made and directed morality tale on the darker side of humanity.
It's exploitive themes and content will not make everyone happy, but it's hard to argue with a suspense driven thriller that delivered. I expected a bit more depth, as noted, but the film delivers on most all action / thriller fronts - and isn't that, come the end of the day, all we could ever ask for from this genre?
'Dragged Across Concrete' arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital), DVD and Digital April 30th, 2019 from Lionsgate. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
“Elements of a Crime” - 3 Part Featurette
“Moral Conflict: Creating Cinema that Challenges” Featurette