Whilst people might be split about his films, S. Craig Zahler is one of the more interesting directors working in American cinema. A critically acclaimed author of Western fiction, he’s also plays in heavy metal and black metal bands. His films carry a distinctive writing signature, are fairly epic in length and are characterised by their brutal violence. After the successes of Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 he’s back with his best yet, Dragged Across Concrete.
Patrolling the tough streets of Bulwark is not a job for the feint hearted. However, when Brett (Mel Gibson) and his younger partner Anthony (Vince Vaughn) are captured on video being over euphuistic during a drug bust, they find themselves on suspension. After being released from prison, Henry (Tory Kittles) is promised a lucrative job by his childhood friend Biscuit (Michael Jai White). Their worlds collide when the job doesn’t quite go to plan.
The deliberately slow pacing and drawn out runtime could put some people off Dragged Across Concrete but it’s a film which rewards perseverance. This is largely due to the charisma of the leads and the empathetic writing of their characters. Whilst Zahler takes his time to establish their backstories, he ensures he holds the audience’s interest. When events do unfold this patient build-up pays off. Ensuring you care about these people and that what happens on screen isn’t merely finesse. Dragged Across Concrete is a muscular and enthralling crime drama.
- Elements of a Crime – Part One: Criminal Intent
- Elements of a Crime – Part Two: Criminal Act
- Elements of a Crime – Part Three: Criminal Concurrence
- Moral Conflict: Creating Cinema That Challenges in a Blockbuster World
Dragged Across Concrete is available on digital from 12 August and released on DVD and Blu-ray by Studiocanal on 19 August.