Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Director: S. Craig Zahler

Writer: S. Craig Zahler (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Jennifer Carpenter, Michael Jai White, Don Johnson, Laurie Holden

 

Plot: Once two overzealous cops get suspended from the force, they must delve into the criminal underworld to get their proper compensation.


Tagline – Those Who Can’t Earn A Living Must Find Another Way To Provide.

Runtime: 2 Hours 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: More like Drags Long Concrete

 

Story: Dragged Across Concrete starts with Henry Jones (Kittles) released from prison, returning to the world he knows to sort out his life. We move onto Brett (Gibson) and Anthony (Vaughn) a couple of police detectives completing their latest bust, who can go over the top when it comes to completing the job which ha gained the attention of their captain LT Calvert (Johnson).

With the pair suspended, Brett starts to think about the future and the fact he wants to move his family out of a rough neighbourhood, because his wife Melanie (Holden) in ex-officer who is sick and teenage daughter are attracting the wrong attention. The pair decide to turn to a life of crime by taking on drug dealers to make the money they deserve.

 

Thoughts on Dragged Across Concrete

 

Characters – Brett is an older police officer, he hasn’t gotten the promotions his former partners have in the past, his wife is an sick ex-cop, he has a teenage daughter and gets rough on his cases. He needs to find enough money to move his family out of the neighbourhood, which sees him take on a potential drug dealer for money. Anthony is the younger partner, preparing to propose of his girlfriend, he is loyal to Brett, which seems him wanting to help Brett during their suspension. Henry is the ex-con that has returned to the life of crime with no option, but to. Biscuit is the connection for Henry, he gets the jobs they can go on together. Kelly is the new mother facing her first day back at work, she is struggling with separation she is facing. LT Calvert is the man forced to suspend the to officers, he was once the partner of Brett and challenges him on why he has never gotten higher up the system.

PerformancesMel Gibson is perfectly cast in this role, he is an older cop that is left with no option, he gets to preach about problems that have affected his own career too. Vince Vaughn doesn’t do anything wrong in his role, showing a much more serious side to his abilities.  We do have a big cast here, each actors do what is needed for their roles.

StoryThe story here follows two suspended cops that turn to a life of crime, an ex-con looking for one big score and the big score that is done by the psychotic gang. The idea of a cop turned to a life of crime is one we have seen before and works, the idea an ex-con will do one more job to escape the life has been done before, in fact the whole basic concept of this film has been done before. The problems with the story here comes from the pacing, we might have some clever dialogue, but we get a lot of seemingly pointless scenes too, which just drag for way too long. The story being as simple as it is, doesn’t need to be two and half hours long, there is one character who get introduced for no apparent reason that waste a good 10-15 minutes of the story too.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film comes from just how this director tends to us the style of explosive body parts, the crime side follows the one incident which takes out character on their mission in search for what they want most in the world.

SettingsThe film puts us in the big city which shows the divide in the neighbourhoods, it shows how each side of the city the people have come from.

Special EffectsThe effects used are what we have seen from the director before, they look for explosive weapon injuries.


Scene of the Movie –
Showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This movie is about 50 Minutes too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overly long action crime film, that just goes on way too long for what is a simple story.

 

Overall: Just too long.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action – R – RocknRolla (2008)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Karel Roden, Toby Kebbell

 

Plot: Lenny Cole, a London mob boss, puts the bite on all local real estate transactions. For substantial fees, he’s helping Uri Omovich, a Russian developer. As a sign of good faith, Omovich loans Cole a valuable painting, promptly stolen off Cole’s wall. While Cole’s men, led by the dependable Archie, look for the canvas, three local petty criminals, the Wild Bunch, steal money from the Russian using inside information from his accountant, the lovely Stella. Meanwhile, a local drug-addled rocker, Johnny Quid, is reported drowned, and his connection to Cole is the key to unraveling the deceits and double crosses of life in the underworld.


Tagline – A story of sex, thugs and rock ‘n roll.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over Saturated Film

 

Story: RocknRolla starts when One Two (Butler) and Mumbles (Elba) learn the hard way how London mobster Lenny Cole (Wilkinson) operates, needing to collect a large amount of money. Lenny is in the middle of a big deal with a Russian Uri Omovich (Roden) that would be the biggest of his career.

When a piece of art gets stolen Lenny is put under pressure to return the art work to Uri, he turns to his right-hand man Archy (Strong) to get it back, turning to One Two for help as we see how the underworld coming together to get one up on each other.

 

Thoughts on RocknRolla

 

Characters – One Two is the leader of the Wild Bunch, he gets left owing a lot of money within the month and it soon becomes his connections that help with the mystery about where a painting is hiding as he plans to solve his own problems. Mumbles is the best friend in the Wild Bunch, he is the one that One Two turns to for advice through the problems. Lenny Cole is the mobster that runs London, he has everyone in his pocket to get what he wants, with his greed taking over when he can have a deal with a billionaire Russian, though his past could cause the trouble in this deal. Stella is the accountant that has each party doing her dealings, she knows how to have each side in the palm of her hands. Archy is the one telling the story, he has the right-hand man for Lenny and the go between all the different sides of the underworld. In this film we do get too many characters with so many different arcs going on through the film.

PerformancesThe acting in this film is good from the whole cast, we have a large cast which does hinder them from getting a true star turn in this film. Butler, Wilkinson, Newton, Strong, Elba, Hardy all show how they can become good at making moments of impact in shorter scenes.

StoryThe story here follows three levels of mobsters as they deal with a deal gone bad as they are trying to stay ahead of each other, in typical Ritchie storytelling we get thrown all over the place with the story telling and miss the most interesting action aspects of the film. when it comes to the criminal underworld side of the story, we don’t get anything new with generic characters who just go through the emotions that don’t always make us enjoy the characters we are enjoy watching.

Action/CrimeThe action is disappointing because we have scenes which should be good, only Ritchie’s style of shooting chops too much hiding the best parts. The crime world created is good because we see just how many different levels of the crime world we are entering.

SettingsThe film is set in London which is good for the film because if these type of deals are happening it would need to be in a busy city location like London.


Scene of the Movie –
Sporting goods fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The action editing.

Final ThoughtsThis is your typical British gangster film, it has its own flair which can help and hinder the film at times, we have too many characters to stay on top of which only disappoints with the storytelling process.

 

Overall: Typical mobster movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – Q – Gene Quintano – Sudden Death (1995)

Director: Peter Hyams

Writer: Gene Quintano (Screenplay) Karen Baldwin (Story)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Powers Boothe, Raymond J Barry, Whittni Wright, Ross Malinger, Dorian Harewood

 

Plot: A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.


Tagline – Tonight, 17 thousand hockey fans have been taken hostage…but just one of them knows it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hugely Entertaining Action Film

 

Story: Sudden Death starts as we meet firefighter Darren McCord (Van Damme) who is involved in a tragic rescue resulting in a young girls death. 2-years-later McCord has got a job as a fire inspector for the city ice hockey team as they are preparing for the seventh game in the Stanley Cup, taking his two children Emily (Wright) and Tyler (Malinger) to the game.

With the game under way Joshua Foss (Boothe) executes his plan to hold the Vice President (Barry) hostage along with the rest of the arena threatening to kill the hostage unless he gets paid, McCord becomes the only person that can save the arena and redeem his reputation.

 

Thoughts on Sudden Death

 

Characters – Darren McCord is a former firefighter who lost a young girl during a rescue, 2-years-late he is now a fire marshal for the ice hockey arena, he takes his kids to the game only for his daughter to be taken by the terrorists. He must use his fighting skills to stay ahead of the terrorists and save not only his daughter, but the vice President and the rest of the spectators in the arena. Joshua Foss is the leader of the terrorists, he wants money and lots of it, knowing where to take it from, he will kill anyone who is involved in the plan, he will kill hostages being a man of his word knowing he has a full arena of victims. Vice President is the man being held hostage by Joshua, he remains calm knowing that the situation doesn’t need to get out of hand no matter how many people Joshua executes. We do have Darren’s kids who are both just what you would expect with the members of the terrorist group completing the mix with the generic ones we know.

PerformancesJean-Claude Van Damme is one of the biggest icons in action, this could very well be one of his best roles, he looks like an everyday man with his own problems acting like a hero and showing us the fighting skills which have made him famous Power Boothe is great in the villainous role, he calmness makes his character fell disturbing throughout the film and is easily on of the underrated villains of the action genre. The rest of the cast are good, while the main two steal the show.

StoryThe story is what people branded ‘Die Hard, in an Ice Hockey Arena’ that is the best way to describe it, a former hero needing to redeem himself from a past mistake and when the chance presents itself in the ice hockey arena he must save the people from a criminal. It uses the real-time feeling as the have the game being the countdown through the events which does help show the rush to save the day as well as dealing with a villain that is cold-hearted and has been planning this job for years. For action we don’t always need the deepest of stories, this shows us what we can have achieved within the time period in question.

Action/CrimeThe action shows McCord going up against different henchman in different locations around the arena, even if the kitchen one against the penguin suit is the one you will most likely remember. The crime shows how a robbery can be put together to work like clockwork even if things don’t always go to plan.

SettingsThe film is set in the ice hockey arena, the action needs to remain here for the whole game giving us a tidy timeline to deal with through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
McCord versus the penguin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We miss the comic relief needed for the bonkers side of the idea.

Final Thoughts – This is an enjoyable action film that shows us just how entertaining Jean-Claude Van Damme can be if we are allowed to let him off his leash to fight.

 

Overall: Action film to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Kill Me Three Times (2014)

Director: Kriv Stenders

Writer: James McFarland (Screenplay)

Starring: Simon Pegg, Steve Le Marquand, Alice Brage, Teresa Palmer, Sullivan Stapleton, Luke Hemsworth

 

Plot: Professional hit-man Charlie Wolfe finds himself in three tales of murder, blackmail and revenge after a botched contract assignment.


Tagline – Once is never enough

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Badly Executed Crime Comedy

 

Story: Kill Me Three Times starts with Charlie (Pegg) completing one of his jobs before getting called into the next one, where he follows Alice (Braga) who is the target of Lucy (Palmer) and Nathan (Stapleton), she is trying to get away from her life and be with Dylan (Hemsworth), but her gangster husband Jack (Mulvey) won’t let her.

As the plot thickens Charlie is looking back on where he thinks things might have gone wrong as we jump around the timeline a lot.

 

Thoughts on Kill Me Three Times

 

Characters – Charlie is the hitman assigned to kill Alice, he ends up witnesses another couple trying to get the job done as we see how he operates and thinks about how his plan could unfold. Alice is the target, she is married to an abusive man and is trying to get out of her relationship, only to become the target for hitmen. Nathan and Lucy are a couple that are planning on killed Alice, even when things don’t always go to plan.

PerformancesThis is a film where we can’t say much good or bad about the acting, because it is the directing and storytelling which are the weak parts. The performances across the board are average without being very good.

StoryThe story here jumps between three timelines to see different point of views when it comes to how the events unfold. Now this comes off messy for the most part because we lack the motivation early on from just what is going on, it tries to be too overly smart and falls flat on its face. This is a story that just doesn’t meet the levels it believes it should be and by the end you will have lost attention to follow each little branch of the story.

Comedy/CrimeThis doesn’t hit the comedy levels it could, even if they try to make us laugh at the moments that just don’t work, with the crime side we see how different sides are trying to get money or get rid of people in their lives.

SettingsThe film is set in a couple of locations where we see the bar, the road, the home just random spots which don’t make things look in the right place.


Scene of the Movie –
The opening sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many branches in the storyline.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing crime comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it needs to and falls flat on its face.

 

Overall: Dull.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – P – Police Story 3 (1992)

Director: Stanley Tong

Writer: Edward Tang, Fibe Ma, Lee Wai Yee (Screenplay)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung, Kenneth Tsang, Wah Yuen, Bill Tung

 

Plot: A Hong Kong detective teams up with his female Red Chinese counterpart to stop a Chinese drug czar.


Tagline – Meet the cop that can’t be stopped!

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Jackie Chan Movie

 

Story: Police Story 3 starts when a Hong Kong gangster Panther (Yuen) is rumoured to broken out of a Chinese prison, Inspector Ka Kui Chan (Chan) is sent to China to work with the authorities, Inspector Jessica Yang (Yeoh). He must break Panther out and escort him back to Hong Kong so he can face his own countries law.

When back in his home city, Chan must work with Yang as the crime boss Chaibat (Tsang) is preparing to free his wife from prison, while trying to keep his cover from his girlfriend May (Cheung).

 

Thoughts on Police Story 3

 

Characters – Inspector Ka Kui Chan (or Kevin in the dubbed version) he is considered a super cop in Hong Kong and must go undercover in China to bring down a gangster, he can handle himself in a fight even if certain moments it looks like luck over judgement. Inspector Jessica Yang is working for the Chinese police and works with Ka as she looks to use her strict style which clashes with the laidback nature of Ka. May is the girlfriend of Ka Kui and she is the one that blows his cover because the two have no form of communication. Chaibat is the gangster that is trying to get his wife out of prison, he runs Hong Kong and taking him down is just what is needed for the city.

PerformancesJackie Chan is one of those actors you can watch do anything, he is committed to his art form and this shows that he has a little bit of everything, from his pure energy in the action, but his comic timing too. Michelle Yeoh showed us that she was going to become a big action star in this film, handling the comedy just as well as the action. Maggie Cheung is mostly wasted here, her character doesn’t have much to do, while Kenneth Tsang fills the villainous role without any problems.

StoryThe story follows two cops from different countries working together to try and take down a big crime group who find themselves split between the two countries. We get the undercover idea here which works well, the awkward chemistry works well, thee action blends into the story taking our attention away from the simple side of everything involved. This does end up being by the books, we know they will get made and will be forced into action police wouldn’t consider and by the end we will see the cop come out on top with the criminal needing to face him in a final battle. The twists are not going to shock and the major turning point comes from somebody else’s stupidity.

Action/Comedy/CrimeWe are going into a Jackie Chan movie, we know the action is going to be big fight sequences and crazy stunts, this hits all the required expectations for this movie, certain stunts or fights get the laughs required too, which surprises with the number of funny moments that don’t take away from the action.

SettingsThe film keep the settings ready for the set pieces, we have the big cities, the working prisoners and the hideouts, everything you would expect to see.


Scene of the Movie –
Train sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The badly dubbed version shown on TV.

Final ThoughtsThis is a purely entertaining Jackie Chan movie, it has the action we would expect, the comedy that works without trying to be more than it needs to be.

 

Overall: Enjoyable action film.

Rating