Dragged Across Concrete
|Dragged Across Concrete|
|Directed by||S. Craig Zahler|
|Written by||S. Craig Zahler|
|Edited by||Greg D'Auria|
|Music by||Jeff Herriott|
S. Craig Zahler
Dragged Across Concrete is a 2018 American neo-noir heist action thriller film written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. The film features an ensemble cast including Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Fred Melamed, Udo Kier, Thomas Kretschmann, and Don Johnson. It premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2018, and received a limited theatrical and video-on-demand simultaneous release from Summit Entertainment on March 22, 2019.
In the city of Bulwark, recent parolee Henry returns home, interrupting his mother with a customer. After chastising her for turning to prostitution, Henry reunites with his younger brother Ethan.
Three weeks later, police detectives Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) raid the home of Vasquez, a known drug dealer. Ridgeman is unnecessarily rough with the suspect, and coerces Vasquez's girlfriend into revealing a duffel bag of money and narcotics. The bust is a success, but the detectives are called before their superior, Chief Lt. Calvert (Don Johnson). Explaining that a video of Ridgeman subduing Vasquez has been released to the media, Calvert is forced to suspend both detectives for six weeks without pay.
Ridgeman's daughter Sara is continually harassed, and his wife Melanie, a former cop with multiple sclerosis, pleads with him to move them to a safer neighborhood. Lurasetti is similarly desperate for money, with plans to propose to his girlfriend Denise. On a tip from Friedrich, a wealthy businessman with criminal connections, Ridgeman recruits Lurasetti to help him surveil and rob the mysterious Lorentz Vogelmann. Having bought an engagement ring, Lurasetti stalls in proposing to Denise, unsure if he can continue with Ridgeman's plan.
Henry and his childhood friend Biscuit are hired by Vogelmann, whose masked associates – one wearing black gloves, one with grey – have committed a series of robberies to buy a customized bulletproof van with airless tires. Bank employee Kelly Summer (Jennifer Carpenter) struggles to leave her newborn son, but returns to work for the first time after her maternity leave. Vogelmann, Black Gloves, and Grey Gloves take the bank hostage, with Biscuit and Henry disguised as security guards in the van. Using methodical, tape-recorded instructions, Vogelmann demands the bank's supply of gold bullion. Kelly, fearing for her life, is shot trying to prevent a colleague from notifying the police via email. She is then summarily executed as she is dying and pleading.
Tailing the van, Ridgeman and Lurasetti realize Vogelmann is robbing the bank. The thieves escape with the bullion and a hostage, Cheryl, having castrated the bank manager. Unsettled by Vogelmann and his henchmen's brutality, Biscuit and Henry are forced to surrender their weapons. Realizing they may be killed, Henry distracts Biscuit with memories of their childhood, and chooses not to reveal they are being followed by the detectives.
Lurasetti learns five people were killed in the robbery and the thieves have taken a hostage. He berates Ridgeman for not intervening sooner or notifying the authorities, but Ridgeman asserts that law enforcement would be too late, and only the two of them can deal with the thieves. Lurasetti opts against delaying his marriage proposal to his live-in girlfriend Denise and leaves her a voicemail guiding her to the engagement ring. He argues that they are both practical people and she wouldn't go in for a big proposal.
Arriving at a garage in the countryside, Biscuit leaps out of the van and is shot, as Henry wounds Grey Gloves with a hidden gun. Mortally wounded, Biscuit swallows the van's key; imploring Henry to take care of his mother, he is shot dead. Ridgeman and Lurasetti arrive, donning body armor and ballistic masks. Cheryl is sent to pull Biscuit's body into the van, while Lurasetti, an Army marksman, is unable to disable the van with his sniper rifle due to the airless tires. Black Gloves cuts the key out of Biscuit's stomach, but Ridgeman rams the van, knocking it over.
Threatened by Vogelmann, the half-naked Cheryl seemingly escapes from the van. Lurasetti tries to guide her to safety and just as she reaches Lurasetti, she presses a gun inside his body armor and fires a number of rounds. Ridgeman executes Cheryl but not before she fatally wounds Lurasetti. Ridgeman then quickly kills Black Gloves as he exits the van. Ridgeman hands the dying Lurasetti his phone and he listens to a voicemail from Denise who declines his proposal before succumbing to his wounds. Ridgeman fills the van with tear gas, and kills Gray Gloves just as he surrenders. Before he can torch the van, Henry fires a warning shot and insists the valuable contents of the van be spared. Ridgeman climbs on top of the van and kills Vogelmann before the latter can shoot him through the retractable slit. Henry shoots Ridgeman in the foot and reveals that he has recorded the entire incident on his cellphone and identifies Ridgeman as a detective. Disarming Henry, Ridgeman proposes they split the score, and together they load the bodies and the bullion in the getaway car.
Towing Lurasetti's car from the scene, Henry finds another hidden gun. When they reach the dump site, Ridgeman produces the hidden piece and holds Henry at gunpoint, demanding he erase the cellphone video. Jostling back and forth Henry produces his own weapon and mortally wounds Ridgeman, angrily decrying Ridgeman for not accepting him at his word. Henry agrees to bury Lurasetti and tells Ridgeman that his family will be taken care of, Henry buries all the bodies. He promises Biscuit that he will return later and give him a proper burial.
Eleven months later, Henry lives in a lavish mansion with his mother and brother. He sends Melanie and Sara a package, addressed to them from Ridgeman, containing a share of the gold bullion.
- Mel Gibson as Brett Ridgeman
- Vince Vaughn as Anthony Lurasetti
- Tory Kittles as Henry Johns
- Michael Jai White as Biscuit
- Jennifer Carpenter as Kelly Summer
- Laurie Holden as Melanie Ridgeman
- Fred Melamed as Mr. Edmington
- Udo Kier as Friedrich
- Tattiawna Jones as Denise
- Justine Warrington as Cheryl
- Jordyn Ashley Olson as Sara Ridgeman
- Liannet Borrego as Rosalinda
- Myles Truitt as Ethan Johns
- Vanessa Bell Calloway as Jennifer Johns
- Noel G. as Vasquez
- Primo Allon as Black Gloves
- Matthew MacCaull as Grey Gloves
- Thomas Kretschmann as Lorentz Vogelmann
- Don Johnson as Chief Lt. Calvert
- Richard Newman as Feinbaum
On February 1, 2017, S. Craig Zahler was signed to direct Dragged Across Concrete from a screenplay he had written. A film about police brutality, it would star Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, who had previously worked together in the 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge. Keith Kjarval of Unified Pictures produced the film along with Zahler and Dallas Sonnier of Cinestate, Assemble Media's Jack Heller, and Sefton Fincham of Look to the Sky Films, with Kjarval's Unified Film Fund financing. In May 2017, Lionsgate acquired the US distribution rights to the film, and would release it through its subsidiary, Summit Entertainment. Principal photography on the film began on July 17, 2017, in Vancouver.
Dragged Across Concrete was released on digital download, DVD and Blu-ray disc in the United States under Lionsgate Films on April 30, 2019, including two special features, a short featurette titled Moral Conflict: Creating Cinema That Challenges and a forty-minute 3-part featurette, Elements of a Crime. Studio Canal released it in the U.K. on August 19, 2019, across all three formats.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Dragged Across Concrete holds an approval rating of 76% based on 147 reviews, with an average rating of 6.90/10. The website's consensus reads, "As grim and grinding as its title, Dragged Across Concrete opts for slow-burning drama instead of high-speed thrills -- and has just the right cast to make it work." On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 60 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
At the 40th Golden Raspberry Awards, an annual "award" for films of low quality, Dragged Across Concrete was nominated in a new category, "Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property." WhatCulture criticised the nomination, saying that "It feels as though voters just wanted to nominate Joker for the enormous social media publicity it would generate, and then shaped a dubious awards category around it. Dragged Across Concrete is an even weirder pick, though, both because of its low-budget nature and the fact that there's not that much carnage in it. Michael Bay's 6 Underground is clearly a far worthier nominee than either of those films, given how much obvious human collateral damage is racked up amid the chaotic action sequences."
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