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DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE

SYNOPSIS:
Two policemen, old-timer Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson), and his volatile younger partner Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn), are suspended when a video of their strong-arm tactics become the media's cause du jour. Low on cash and with no other options, these two embittered soldiers - who have been metaphorically dragged across concrete and thus made rough around the edges as part of their work, as their superior puts it - turn to crime; one crime, but with a big payoff. If they can get to it.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Anti-hero cops are hardly new in cinema, but there are so manly sides to the human condition that there are a myriad ways stories can be told about them. This one's tougher than most. But it's not the violence and the one ultra gory scene, that deserve attention. As indicated by the 158 minute running time, filmmaker S. Craig Zahler invests in much more detailed character development than the genre usually allows. And that extends to some of the support characters. That all takes time. But the result is much more engagement and a greater degree of emotional attachment by the audience to these characters. And that has as big a payload as the treasure our anti-heroes are chasing.

The texture is often supplied by long, steady shots of nothing much more than Vaughn's Lurasetti munching his burger in the driver's seat while Gibson's Ridgeman sits quietly beside him. The patter is banal, but the tension is palpable. Clever filmmaking.

Crisp dialogue alternates with silence, alternates with procedural discussion, but underneath the surface the story ripples along. It is not a complex plot, but it has complex elements, including the machinations of the gang who steal the gold which is the object of everyone's affections.

The action, when it turns violent, is fearsome. The gang will stop at nothing to secure their treasure, not even off the cuff surgery ... be warned.

The strength of the screenplay, the firmness of the direction and the powerful performances - with Vaughn in full dramatic mode - are convincing, while music and design complete the whole and make for audience satisfaction.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE (R18+)
(Canada/US, 2018)

CAST: Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Thomas Kretchmann, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Don Johnson, Udo Kier

PRODUCER: Sefton Fincham, Jack Heller, Keith Kjarval, Dallas Sonnier

DIRECTOR: S. Craig Zahler

SCRIPT: S. Craig Zahler

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Benji Nakshi

EDITOR: Greg D'Auria

MUSIC: Jeff Herriott, The O'Jays, S. Craig Zahler

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Brian Davie

RUNNING TIME: 158 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Icon

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 29, 2019







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