I was pretty excited to see “Dragged across concrete” with Mel Gibson. I had it on my watch list for about a month and tonight I decided to see it along with “Red Joan”. I go in and when the warning screen greets me I giggle with enthusiasm not felt since The Purge first came out.
I was pretty disappointed about what came next. Crappy editing switching from scene to scene with no fades, no character introductions and low lighting more appropriate for brothels than a set. I kept on thinking that some people need to invest in some neon lights!
The story is quite simple: old cop nearing retirement and his partner are suspended for being overly aggressive with a perp. Yep, he was planning on selling drugs to kids in school but he was a Mexican and our hero shouldn’t have used his boot to crunch his face on the metal stairs.
So we get to see how these two white cops live. One is in the ghetto, his wife is disabled with MS and his daughter is aggressively bullied by black kids in the very black looking neighbourhoof. The other seems quite rich, has a posh car and can afford a fancy engagement ring for his long term gf he is planning on marrying once the waters settle.
Both of them suspended, they hatch up a plan to steal money from one of the robbers they normally put away. So they turn to crime.
In the background we see a dude walk in into a convenience store and shoot the clerk down and steal the cash. Very violent and with a machine gun…
We also see how a newly released black con-man is back on the streets in like three weeks after getting out of jail as he couldn’t support his family.
We get it. Everyone has it rough. Black-on-black crimes on the rise, police brutality going unchecked, rough neighbourhoods where girls could not walk safely back from school and poor cops whose salaries make them morally doubtful and corrupt.
The movie had a good premise and the acting was top notch. They even added cameos from famous actors and I was quite happy to see Debra from Dexter on the screen again (even though she was brutally shot down in a robbery)
The violence is over the top when it happens but fortunately that’s not that often. For a movie that had the over 18 stamp, we get about 20min of shooting and actual action (be it gory) out of a 2h 45min runtime.
Let me tell you the first thing that really, really annoyed me. The disposable material which was included in the final cut. This movie would still have been good without 105 minutes of pure boredom.
Cops doing a stake-out: 20min
Guy chewing noisily on a sandwich:3 min
Cops talking about their shitty career and the small rewards they get for all their effort: 15min
Cop talking to wife and daughter:15min
Two bros talking in the getaway car about their shared childhood: 15min
Bank teller who does not want to go to work and leave her baby behind: 15min
Speech at return from maternity inside said bank: 10min
All of this time adds up and could be shortened and not lose any of the essence. You could watch this movie at home, go outside for a BBQ, come back in and these two cops are still in the car chatting to each other.
The bank robbery is only shown partially and we only see one person maybe two shot down. In the news report there are 5 dead and 2 wounded. When did that happen? And the car chase was pretty bland. Mellow enough to show the scenery rolling outside.
We never really find out who the three baddies were. We know of one but the other two? Accomplice 1 &2 are generic whites with a taste for sadism. There’s a really gross scene where they disembow a guy they shot and while they are dragging out the large intestine and slashing the stomach, they make passing remarks showing that they’ve done it before. Racist remarks too: “don’t touch the liver as it will stink this whole place up”, “especially a black guy’s liver ” – did these three dudes go hunting for people in their spare time? They seem to recognize all the organs ok.
The movie offers little to no backstory.
Ps: 99% percent of the people involved die. The two corrupt cops, the hostage, the three white dudes, one black driver.
The surviving black guy somehow magically converts the gold he stole into cash (even though after a massive robbery there would have been an order to check any gold lingo sales) and manages to offer his kid a game room with a big ass TV and his mom a masseuse in a house with massive marble floors and a bay window overlooking a lake with massive mountains in the distance. Posh.
Umm, once ghetto, always ghetto. I would not have expected wise investment ideas from this guy and flaunting his wealth like this after a robbery but hey, maybe he was a hidden genius and smart enough to collect the dough and emigrate to Canada.
He does send a few gold bits to the widow of the cop but not the 40% he promised. Widow is happy with whatever money she gets and whispers a Thank you that could be directed at her dead husband or at anyone else.
They never mention what happened to the cop’s body. Was he declared missing? Did anyone find that shot hostage woman? Did they find the buried bodies?
All that we know is that one ex con got the hit of a lifetime.
End scene, roll credits.
Ps: in the credits the director is sucking his own d$%k by plastering his name everywhere.
Good movie to watch on fast forward.