Dragged Across Concrete

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Constant use of overdrawn shots and a thirst for an immaculate climax makes Dragged Across Concrete a beautifully complete piece of work

Vince Vaughn is having one hell of a year. From movie exile, he has returned with a clear appreciation for quality productions, slipping into them without as much as a blink. Dragged Across Concrete is vastly different from the light hearted nature of Fighting With My Family, but with experienced Mel Gibson next to him, Vaughn offers more than ever as part of the ‘good cop gone bad’ narrative, with genuine presence and quality artistic outlook.

However, much of this has to be praised to director S. Craig Zahler, boasting a particularly astute style of film making, with no fear of subtlety. Constant use of overdrawn shots and a thirst for an immaculate climax makes Dragged Across Concrete a beautifully complete piece of work, with one vision attached to the entire picture, becoming bitingly suspenseful and truly enjoyable.

Brett (Mel Gibson) and Anthony (Vince Vaughn) are quickly suspended from the Police Force after taking their investigation too far with violent conduct. Left with little to do, Brett becomes embroiled in an illegal drugs scandal, looking for extra cash during his time away. Dragging Anthony into his own personal surveillance and investigation, the pair find themselves impossibly deep when the criminals they track raid an uptown bank in broad daylight.

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Dragged Across Concrete is remarkable because of its construction. There is a complete and fulfilled vision within the piece that never sways and never dips in intensity. It’s a marvellous example of a film being given free reign to act in the way it needs to. From the incredibly long still-camera conversations to the seemingly inane points of view, there’s a drive to bring the film together as one long piece, rather than a bit part feature with some interesting ideas. It is hideously long, but with a thorough watch and full attention, that doesn’t become the issue it perhaps could have been.

Outrageously strong in its ending, Dragged Across Concrete is a film with a complete ending, and a realistic touch that offers great insight into how a story of this nature would genuinely unfold. It becomes powerfully tense and beautifully full circle, looking back only to confirm fate and foreshadowing. It’s unique style is genuinely engaging, offering real individuality and a carefree attitude to film making.

Rarely do films become this individual, but Dragged Across Concrete is about as uncommon as they come; a feature definitely not for everyone. But offered the chance, it opens up like a slow motion door, uncovering secrets and ideas cinema rarely, or never, sees. With great performances and a fascinating direction style, this is a film with no precedent except the one it has now set out for the future.

4/5

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