Leaving aside some of the dubious politics you can easily read into it – and casting of Mel Gibson in one of the lead roles, S. Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete is a damn fine motion picture and a great follow-up to Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017).
Dragged being the operative word for some, as you can feel every second of the 239 min running time if you’re not in the mood for the experience.
I always hate going into plot details too much (you have Wikipedia for that), so briefly, Gibson and co-star Vince Vaughn play Ridgeman and Lurasetti, two suspended cops with financial woes who decide to rip-off a team of bank robbers (led by Thomas Kretschmann) after they’ve pulled their job.
And these criminals are mean motherf*ckers, sadistic and truly evil, with no ‘code of honour’ as they plan to also kill their getaway driveway driver Biscuit and lookout Henry Johns, played by the excellent Michael Jai White and Tory Kittles respectively.
Oh, and they castrate the bank manager during the heist, just for shits and gigs, as they say.
Gibson and Vaughn are deeply flawed characters, who have an air of deep fatalism about their fate. And quite right they are too. As Vaughn’s Lurasetti says when Gibson’s Ridgeman pitches the scheme to him
“a bad idea – like lasagna in a can”.
Still, the picture has a happy ending of sorts, which I won’t spoil for those readers who have yet to see this excellent, but grueling thriller. Not without the occasional laugh either, witness this scene where Gibson’s character is close to losing his shit due to Vaughn’s extended munching/savoring of his stake-out snack.
The salt cellar is genius.
Unfortunately this sequence does miss the final pay off line – “A single red ant could have eaten it faster”.