This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Filipe Furtado’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Like someone get a terrific pulp novel and filmed every sentence like Oliveira did with Castelo Branco's Doomed Love.Everything after Gibson and Vaughn car started to follow the other criminals van post robbery is pretty much perfect. One of Zahler's trip to hells that so enriched by the amount detail. The one hour and half setting that up can be saggy on spots (and I could go without Jennifer Carpenter extended cameo), but it also has a lot of very good stuff in it specially acting wise (Gibson and Kittles are great as the leads).
The film is loaded and that seems the bait near every critic has gone after. The first half is drawn on MAGA sign posts to explain why "good cops go wrong", Zahler can't resist throw off-hand details like casting Thomas Kretschmann (long one of Hollywood go-to nazis) as the criminal running the heist and having him treat Kittles and Michael Jai White (both on white-face, no less) more like personal slaves than henchmen. Kittles is around to offer some counter to the white male repressed rage narrative. AW predictable rave centers around him while a lot of the liberal mixed ones underwrites his part as much as possible, he is the heart of the film against Gibson's vile soul and far more the co-star than Vaughn's who is really playing Anthony Edwards in Top Gun.
The one constant in all three Zhaler movies outside of the violence and trip to hell structures is the idea of American capitalist system as a bloody text created on violence and supremacy and presented as a statement of fact more than any conventional criticism. The this is just how it is mentality is more conservative than any of the trolling . Zahler probably sees himself as the degenerate "realist" against liberal filmmaking weak reformism, He is more evil John Ford than some post Tarantino gore asthete.
Dragged Across Concrete strengths like those in the early Zhaler films are mostly in the storytelling. As a blunt delivery system to vile self-destructive behavior and careful sturdy drawn out trips into society's mud. There's a lot to love here like how the movie uses how Gibson and Vaughn are in the dark about the crime they plan to hijack as a source of suspense and reflection on their own muddled position. Kittles finds some very good spin in the old ex-con doing on last job and Gibson, playing his own self-image as the pressecuted man of the people from whom every bad act is justified in the name of family has rarely being put to such good use. There's a lot of good oddball detail scattered throughout. Those long stakeout scenes are a marvel. This is a great car movie. The final action confrontation is full of well-imagined action that is grounded on character and has an out of this world atmosphere that sets it straight into moral purgatory. The final section with Kittles and Gibson might be even better playing into how much audiences know about this kind of narrative and checking every box of expectations while still raising the suspense.
Zahler is as usual good at find ways to play up the ugly mentality of his dog eat dog world. The violence is kept to a minimum but as ugly as it gets when it cames and there is fetishistic pleasure at the drawn out bad ends some characters get that makes me far more uncomfortable than I'm sure does the filmmaker. At same time, there is genuine warm in both partners relationships, the only non-blood one the film allows to breathe. In this proud ugly film the one moment of tenderness comes when Kittles tells White's grave that he is sorry he is burried with cops, but that he will "fix it" later. At the end of the day. Dragged Across Concrete is pulp hokum elevated to a sacred text. How one feels about probably says a lot about how one deal with such a proposition.