Director S Craig Zahler delivers a stakeout crime-thriller with a slow tempo but an incredibly compelling story in Dragged Across Concrete.
Mel Gibson plays Brett, a cop pushing 60 in a fictional US town known as Bulwark. Brett’s career has stagnated due to his violent nature towards suspects whilst all those around him move up the chain of command. Vince Vaughn plays Brett’ younger partner, Anthony, who falls victim to the fallout of Brett’s latest violent indiscretion. From here the two partners are forced into action which conflicts with their moral compasses as they are forced to find an alternative source of income.
On the flip side of this underworld drama is Henry (Tory Kittles) who has just been released from prison, but immediately finds himself slipping right back into crime.
Each side of the coin in this story has strong connections to the other. Both Brett and Henry find themselves contemplating crime just to help their disabled or sick loved ones. It is this connection which sees Dragged Across Concrete become so compelling. Will the two men realise their similarities and be able to rectify their own internal conflicts to see them both benefit or will they destroy each other in the process?
Dragged Across Concrete is a long, methodically slow film but it strangely doesn’t drag. In fact, this approach actually builds the tension as the two parties involved circle around each assessing their foe before the impending clash.
The one drawback of this film is occasionally cheesy, over the top dialogue and gratuitous violence. This is quickly forgotten though as you sink back into the gritty drama.