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Brawl in Cell Block 99 - Vince Vaughn breaks bones


Monkeyboy
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It seems Vince Vaughn has found a new lease of life recently -- Hacksaw Ridge and True  Detective spring to mind -- and now with director S. Craig Zahler (he of Bone Tomahawk), he's busting heads and snapping bones in Brawl in Cell Block 99.

 

Just seen it (it's "out there"), and it's fucking brutal. Violence that'll make you make squirm. If you've seen Bone Tomahawk, you know what to expect. Like that film, it's a slow burn for at least a good hour, but don't let that put you off.

 

Trailer below. It's not too spoilery, but I do recommend going in cold, if you can. If you enjoyed Bone Tomahawk, you'll enjoy this.

 

 

You'll also be pleased to know that the action scenes are very easy to follow. No fast cuts to confuse things.

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I personally thought this was pretty good. Trashy, low budget vibes. Great fight scenes. Don Johnson's villainous warden. Thought the plot went a bit nonsensical towards the end though. But it's definitely worth the watch.

The soundtrack was pretty great throughout. Loved that recurring synth drone. Appreciated the closing track at the end, apparently performed by the O'Jays.

https://www.soultracks.com/first-listen-ojays-buddys-business

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Zahler is a maniac.  

 

He's already onto his next one. DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE starring Vaughn and Mel Gibson as cops suspended for violence on the job who decide to join the criminal underworld. You can bet that one will be a laugh a minute.

 

He also recently wrote the remake of PUPPET MASTER.

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  • 3 months later...

I thoroughly enjoyed it. It starts off lean and slow, lots of lingering shots, the film takes its time. It is very long for such a simple film. If you'd told me even 10 years ago Vince Vaughn would do something like this I'd have been very surprised. Definitely not for everyone but if you like it grim, slow and brutal it's going to deliver.

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My favourite bit was when Vince's pregnant wife is in the kitchen cutting vegetables with a knife and he awkwardly walks in, says she might faint and lose the baby so tells her to not cook anymore, slaps her arse, picks her up and carries her to their bedroom, comments on the interior design, drops her on to the bed, and receives a call to do drug running cos he's a good american guy who lost his job and can't catch a break and then does things that make no sense involving diving and climbing and then snaps guards limbs because he's a cunt.

 

powerful film

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  • 2 months later...

I thought this was pretty poor.  Glacially slow with unconvincing fight choreography, nobody to root for and very cheap effects. Dissapointing really because I love a good stylised and violent B-movie, and had been looking forward to this for a while.  I liked Bone Tomahawk but this one did nothing for me.

 

 

Edit - wowsers, I just looked it up and I'm amazed by how highly regarded it seems to be.  It's a tough 'genre' to nail down, but I'd throw it in with the likes of Taken, John Wick, The Raid, Get the Gringo, maybe even Dredd and absolute classics like The Warriors and Assault on Precinct 13, but it doesn't hold a candle to any of those.

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I couldn't work out if I liked this or not. It was all just a bit bizarre. Even when you take the frankly odd violence out of the equation, there were just a few "eh?" bits. Like how he wasn't that arsed about his missus shagging someone and how he went from losing his job driving a tow truck to living in a massive (empty) house, seemingly overnight.

 

There was a complete lack of fear of the drug lord fella as well. He was meant to be scary, but Vaughn's character just wasn't arsed about him or his heavys...

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2 hours ago, ScouserInExile said:

there were just a few "eh?" bits. Like how he wasn't that arsed about his missus shagging someone and how he went from losing his job driving a tow truck to living in a massive (empty) house, seemingly overnight.

 

 

Spoiler

His wife had lost their first child in a miscarriage which caused some distance between them, she was lonely as a result and found comfort and support in a meaningless affair. He found out about it and basically did a Street Fighter 2 on her car - then managed to hold his rage in because he still loves her and wants to be with her (rather than beat the shit out of her for the betrayal - something that his physical appearance initially leads you to believe him capable of). He starts delivery drugs for a local gangster and it says on the screen "2 years later" or something...but even without that its obvious from the dialogue between him and his wife that he has made bank through gangster shit to get them back to place where they can and have tried for another child. The bit about what colour curtains they should have, and she says 'cream' being a call back to him opening up about his feelings of never getting the cream coffee/the American dream is bullshit. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Well that was great fun. But not a patch on Bone Tomahawk.

 

Let’s face it, it’s appeal is mostly about the wincing hyperviolence, though there’s nothing in here as utterly shocking as its predecessor’s infamous tomahawk scene, and the script is nowhere near as sharp.

 

Still, it’s fun enough. And Vaughan is mesmerising. I also loved the almost slowmo approach to the fights. A big meat terminator taking his hits and coming on relentlessly. Weighty and deliberate, minimal chopsocky. However the plot is ridiculous.

 

B-movie absolutely, but a very bloody good one.

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I enjoyed this but something confused me

 

Spoiler

The antagonists told him that he had to kill a certain someone in Block 99 to stop his unborn baby being mutilated. It turns out that this person doesn't appear to exist and that it was all a ruse to get him alone down there so they could torture him.

 

So my question is, why was the asian doctor in the film? They kidnapped her to get him down there but presumably they had no initial plan to actually do the mutilation, because there's nothing to gain.

 

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21 hours ago, Timmo said:

I enjoyed this but something confused me

 

  Hide contents

The antagonists told him that he had to kill a certain someone in Block 99 to stop his unborn baby being mutilated. It turns out that this person doesn't appear to exist and that it was all a ruse to get him alone down there so they could torture him.

 

So my question is, why was the asian doctor in the film? They kidnapped her to get him down there but presumably they had no initial plan to actually do the mutilation, because there's nothing to gain.

 

Spoiler

There's very little to gain from killing the protagonist either - they're still in prison. I guess they are just very bad men.

 

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