Movie of the Week: Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

S. Craig Zahler directs Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn and Tory Kittles in this crime actioner where two disgraced cops decide to hijack a heist.

I’ve got your new Pulp Fiction right here, hombre!

Patient, slow burn storytelling? CHECK!

Hard boiled near poetic dialogue? CHECK!

Discarded Hollywood stars recycled brilliantly (and hopefully in a career reviving way)? CHECK!

Giving a jobbing black character just as much spotlight so he almost steals the show? CHECK! (This was always going to be Mad Mel’s party but Tory Kittles impressively holds our attention in his threads)

The shock and excitement when disparate players intersect unexpectedly? CHECK!

The whole narrative put on a time-out so we can focus on a new character who plays out their own mini movie expertly? CHECK!

Killer soundtrack of your new favourite jams you never knew even existed?CHECK!

Bruising, nihilistic bursts of ultra violence? CHECK!

Visual callbacks to classic noirs, heists and blaxploitations? CHECK!

Zahler isn’t a Tarantino clone. He has his own unique languid rhythm, moral code and an exhilarating tactician’s sense of carnage. His use of controversial language feels more politically pointed. His visual touchstones are seemingly Peckinpah and Siegel. His first three films feel like grittier, grainer experiences. I’m on board, I’m sold. These feel like movies made just for me. Dragged Across Concrete is his best yet.

10

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