How Was This Movie: Dragged Across Concrete

160m Thriller/Exploitation film from the director of the gruesome, genre bending Bone Tomahawk. I’ve just read this is apparently a cause celeb for the Alt-Right although I’m not sure how much they are being trolled by the ending (which seemed pretty tounge in cheek and ripped from an exploitation film).

As this was a troubling – at best – portrayal of masculinity. I suppose it could simply be the return of Mel Gibson. Very early on, his character falls foul of an accusation of excessive force and violence. I have to laugh if it anyone thinks that he was shown as hard-done by this.

His backstory makes explicit his inability to deal with things reasonably, how it has stymied his career, how he has gotten worse… the original complaint is the particular issue which drives his arc, very explicitly in the end.

The first hour and a bit is insanely slow. Very jarring. Transplanting the ornate mannered dialogue of Bone Tomahawk straight into this setting was an interesting move. I think it did add to the exploitation feel, it also makes quite a lot of the characters sound like grandiose, showy liars.

I’m going to say this was deliberate as a handful of the characters barely say a word at all. And there are a few other clues that the cast, writers and directors could do much more ‘human’ dialogue at the drop of a hat. Maybe it’s just uneven, maybe it’s deliberate.

You decide. A couple of other scenes are also absurdly cliched but appear almost as deliberate non-sequiters, and are also pretty troubling in their own way.

Anyway, the trademark extreme violence is deployed with economy. The resolution is absurd, fantastical, manipulative and very much required. It’s dark, boring, frequently ridiculous, occassionally convincing, too long, and I don’t regret watching a single second of it. It felt good from the start.

I picked out at least one detail in the boring early stages which ought to have r/movie_details creaming themselves. It drove me bananas, adding a real tension to proceedings.

TL;DR; Very much better in most of the important ways than Steve McQueen’s Widows. Probably because it was much much longer and didn’t have anything to do with Liam Neeson.

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