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Dragged Across Concrete


Stars: Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Don Johnson, Thomas Kretschmann, Fred Melamed, Udo Kier

Director: S Craig Zahler

Sporting one of the more bizarre film titles in Hollywood history, this crime/robbery drama is, as you might expect from the inflated runtime, slower than a stakeout, with a fairly simple story that could have ben told in 90 minutes with no trouble at all.

So we endure lots of shots of people behind their windscreens driving along, lots of faintly unbelievable developments and consequences, and some enjoyable dialogue between maverick police partners Gibson and Vaughn, with the former disgusted at his colleagues tardy eating habits in their car. 'A single red ant,' he complains, 'could have eaten it faster'.

They've been suspended, under unlikely circumstances, for being too rough with a suspect, and face six weeks without pay. Gibson, with a disabled wife (Holden) and nubile daughter (Jordyn Ashley Olson), needs desperately to relocate from their unhealthy neighbourhood, and pulls a favour from an old contact to pursue what he believes may be a drug deal from which he and Vaughn, whom he persuades to join him, might steal some much-needed cash.

The 'deal', however, proves to be a ruthless bank robbery carried out with precision by a gang who will kill anyone who moves. In other story threads, Henry (Kittles), fresh out of jail and with a son in a wheelchair, throws in his lot with the gang as getaway driver, while Kelly (Carpenter), returns to the bank reluctantly after a year's maternity leave.

Before long, the bank is carpeted with corpses and the cops are on the (illegal) trail of the robbers.

I didn't believe a word of all these contrivances, less still the ending: how could any survivor of it all cash in on such very hot stolen bullion? It must be added, however, that the atmosphere in the bad guys' getaway van, complete with hostage, is fraught with menace and danger.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour (unspecified).
159 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 14 Apr 2019