Short Attention Span Review: Brawl in Cell Block 99
Fucking wow. I'm totally blown away. Brawl in Cell Block 99 is a delirious nightmare masquerading as an action film. A slow boil that ultimately explodes with some truly bone-crunching* action, this is a real find. Hot on the heels of Bone Tomahawk, this picture clearly marks director Craig Zahler as a force to be reckoned with. Well-plotted and deftly captured, this grim descent into carnage propelled by bad decisions born of good intentions is nothing if not relentless. Star Vince Vaughn utterly disappears in the lead role, bringing a subdued version of his trademark wit to bear in a few well-placed moments that wind up being as bleak as they are comical. The brutality and the sheer physicality that he brings to the part surely paint this as a transformational showcase, and Vince is money throughout. True story: he's an ultimate badass in this one. By the end, you may just find yourself thinking that he could kick the shit out of Conan the Barbarian if he had to--and that's not a statement this Robert E. Howard devotee would make lightly. Brawl in Cell Block 99 is not for the squeamish, but if you don't count yourself among the squeamish and you're looking for a badass thrill ride, you need to watch this shit now.
*No, seriously: bone-crunching. The phrase "bone-crunching" gets thrown around a lot in regards to action movies, but this is different. Bones are crunched. A lot. In ways you've never seen before. Totally gnarly, peeps.
Final Grade: A
|Vince Vaughn slays it in the uber-violent and thoroughly malevolent version of Get Hard.|