• Name: Brawl in Cell Block 99
• Year: 2017
• Country: USA
• Director: S. Craig Zahler
• Main cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Vince Vaughn, Tom Guiry
• Runtime: 132 minutes
• Production company: Assemble Media, Cinestate, Caliber Media Company
The short review is “I am absolutely in love with Brawl in Cell Block 99. And it was instant infatuation”. That said, let’s dissect a little bit more this statement.
Brawl in Cell Block 99 is the second movie by S. Craig Zahler after the internationally acclaimed and awarded Bone Tomahawk (2015). If his debut film set all the eyes on this new director, this second work proves he is one of these new filmmakers that every single work he does is a must see. He was also the writer of the film and collaborated on the score, which being a former musician himself is not a surprise. And what is the movie about? Well, the plot is the kind of classic crime thriller set up, with this former boxer trying to make a living and raise a family. Although hesitating with the idea, he ends up taking a job working for a drug dealer. But one night the trade goes wrong, people get killed and he gets sent to jail. During all the beginning of the movie we can witness the main character played by Vince Vaughn breaths violence and honor in equal ways. And due to this sense of honor, he takes the full sentence without telling any name of the people involved in the failed business transaction. And then the spiral of violence starts.
Brawl in Cell Block 99 is equally beautifully filmed and acted. And yes, the word to use is “beautiful”, even if this is a very violent and sordid movie. The images are crude and dirty, as the situations are. But still, one can breathe the good taste used in all of the takes. It doesn’t matter if we are watching a toilet flooded with shit or a dreadful bloody beat up with broken arms and smashed faces, because those images are precious. The filmmakers tried to portrait all the fierceness appearing in the movie the most casual way, and that adds much more intensity to the result.
The fight scenes are very well filmed. Although there are several of them, it is not a big choreography fights film; it couldn’t be categorized as a martial arts of fights movie. It is more focused on the power and the violence, on the cruelty and the reason of the acts. And one can’t help but adore the indestructible character that Vince Vaughn gives form to.
Yes, people, Vince Vaughn is the star of a cruel violent film. And he fucking nails it. Right now I can’t imagine anyone who could portray the role of Bradley Thomas better than him. Because he is like the average man, the kind of man that has been swallowing shit all his life but won’t succumb to the bad guys when they are about to touch the only good thing he has built in his life: his family. Forget of all the lame romantic comedies that fill up his acting career, this year Vince Vaughn is the ultimate bad ass.
Together with Vaughn, we can spot other actors like Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson or Udo Kier in roles of the kind we are used to seeing them. And, obviously, they deliver great. The bad guys are very bad, and the hero’s wife is also revealed to be a true fighter.
The next movie by writer and director S. Craig Zahler is entitled Dragged Across Concrete, expected to come out next year, and is also starred by Jennifer Carpenter, Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson and Udo Kier, this time together with Mel Gibson. Well, I already count the seconds to be able to see it, because if it’s as good as Brawl in Cell Block 99 it can undoubtfully be one of the best movies of the year. Word.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5657856
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