The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

  • Mel GibsonTory Kittles...
  • Action & AdventureComedy
  • S. Craig Zahler
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Cairo 360
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Dragged Across Concrete: Grotesque Violence

With action movies reaching higher and higher levels of violence, new films want to shock audiences with even more grotesque levels of violence. Dragged Across Concrete uses that tool to an unjustifiable extent.

Dragged Across Concrete follows veteran detective Brett (Mel Gibson), known for his violence against suspects, and younger detective Anthony (Vince Vaughn), also not by-the-book when it comes to violence. The pair face suspension after they are caught on video “interrogating” a suspect with excessive force. With Brett’s wife’s medical issue and his daughter being constantly harassed in the neighbourhood they live in, Brett decides he needs money fast. And he will do anything to get it. After some hesitation, Anthony joins him, and the pair decide to shake down a group of bank robbers. With their reputations on the line, can the pair pull it off without getting caught?

The name says it all; you will be dragged across the ever so long 160 minutes of this crime “thriller” until you finally reach the end, and thank the heavens that you survived.

The pace of the plot is so slow, with barely anything happening in the first act, and the second act just having some long, seemingly meaningless dialogue that could easily be cut and the viewers would not have missed any information, emotions, or plot points. The deliberation and planning process is much longer than the action in the film.

When a film is 160 minutes long there is usually a reason; like a large cast and a multi subplot narrative. However, with Dragged Across Concrete the only reason for the excruciating length is that the writers wanted to shove in more useless dialogue than they should have while the events of the plot could have easily fit in a 120-minute feature or less.

A much more grave issue is that the feature is somewhat racist; not blatantly racist; however, its heroes are not exactly the friendliest to racial minorities, and are actually proud of that. The film tries to have audiences sympathise with these characters, with one who has a sick wife and a struggling child and another who is in love and just wants the money to get married. However, if audiences do sympathise with them, then they would be sympathising with racist, crooked cops.

Brett’s wife says, “I never thought I was a racist before we moved here, but we really need to move”. Which is exactly like someone saying, “I am not a racist but”, and then goes on to say something clearly racist.

For the acting, Mel Gibson was his usual stubborn cop, and his performance was nothing new for any viewer who has seen a couple of his previous films. Gibson did not employ any particular use of facial expressions or body language to make his performance stand out. Vince Vaughn was more serious than his comedic roles in several of his previous films, but his performance was also very underplayed and barely had any emotion.

If you like crime thrillers, don’t mind waiting for almost an hour and a half to get into the action, and don’t mind concealed racism, then go ahead. 

Like This? Try

Lethal Weapon (1987), L.A. Confidential (1997), Serpico (1973), Internal Affairs (1990), Hacksaw Ridge (2016).

360 Tip

Mel Gibson previously directed Vince Vaughn in Hacksaw Ridge (2016). Vaughn's role in Ridge was originally supposed to be played by Gibson.

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