Brawl In Cell Block 99
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A former boxer named Bradley loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage is about to expire. At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work for an old buddy as a drug courier. This improves his situation until the terrible day that he finds himself in a gunfight between a group of police officers and his own ruthless allies. When the smoke clears, Bradley is badly hurt and thrown in prison, where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground. From the director of Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99 stars Vince Vaughn (Hacksaw Ridge), Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”), Udo Kier (Blade) and Don Johnson (“Miami Vice”).
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The rest of the movie is series of set pieces as Vaughn punches faces and breaks arms to be considered awful enough to be placed in the dungeon block that is apparently Cell Block 99. In one of the funnier moments of the movie, it turns out Cell Block 99 is an actual dungeon. The movie runs on goofy over the top reveals like this. The movie is far far removed from reality but plays it all in the most straight faced way with the driest of humor that you'd almost think they were dead serious. Director S Craig Zahler pulls off quite the trick here. It's ridiculous but done in such a way that you don't realize it until after the fact. He tricks you into the story in a lot of ways. The only other director that did stuff like this was John Carpenter.
Hopefully, Zahler gets the respect Carpenter couldn't and doesn't have to retreat into EDM concerts. He's a genuine talent that has his own unique spins to stuff. I think a lot of people focus on the gore in this and his previous film Bone Tomahawk. The interesting bit is that his movies, all 2 of them, seem mostly concerned with what it is to be a man. It's men dying hard on principle whether it's deserved or not. So there's a bit of Peckinpah, a bit of John Carpenter, a lot of suffering saint themes in this movie and his previous work. It makes him pretty unique in a world of Paul Fiegs, Judd Aptows, and most other current name directors who can't wait to tell you you're awful and toxic masculinity. Not that Brawl in Cell Block 99 or Bone Tomahawk are political. They're distinctly apolitical, which in the current immature climate makes you pretty political on accident. Basically, the guy is smart and targeting a now ignored niche.
The movie is surprisingly cheap and more than worth seeing. The Amazon video service worked really well as usual too. The HD version that I purchased played well with no buffering issues or any other problems that I've experienced with other streaming services. So, it's a good movie and a good format.
I find this film to be a very dark work of art, and well done. As for Vince Vaughn's acting, he's a superb talent. Oh, and don't watch it when you're eating.
I couldn't recommend it anymore than I a currently am; if you love violent action films then do yourself a favor and watch this movie. You won't be disappointed.
I watched it on Prime, so I can't speak towards the special features or the collectability of the home release.
Most recent customer reviews
Good movie. Nice to see Vince Vaughn and Don Johnson in roles opposite of what you would think.