Brawl In Cell Block 99

Brawl In Cell Block 99

Ramona FlowersRamona Flowers   September 26, 2017  
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Brawl In Cell Block 99

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October 06, 2017
One of the favorite films from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was S. Craig Zahler’s (Bone Tomahawk) sophomore feature, Brawl in Cell Block 99. If you’re not familiar with the film, the movie features an awesome performance by Vince Vaughn as a former boxer named Bradley who ends up having to work for a friend as a drug courier. When things go off the rails, Vaughn lands in prison where he’s given an ultimatum: either do what he’s told or loved ones on the outside will suffer.

For a little over an hour, “Brawl in Cell Block 99” is a slow-burn crime drama that just so happens to star Vince Vaughn as a ridiculous muscle mass. After that first hour, Vaughn’s outrageous physical appearance makes more sense: The movie devolves into a series of gruesome showdowns, with bloody punches and bones crunching, as writer-director S. Craig Zahler throws nuance to the wind and trades it for a grotesque, ludicrous prison fight movie that’s certainly one of the more uncharacteristic projects in Vaughn’s prolific career.
For Vaughn, his performance in Brawl in Cell Block 99 couldn’t be more different from his more famous roles. Bradley still has a sharp wit, but he speaks quietly and deliberately. Vaughn doesn’t need us to like Bradley, but he wants us to understand his decisions, which is a tougher task when he’s playing a character against type. Rather than relying on the dialogue, Vaughn gives a physical performance, using his size and stature to control the tempo of the scene. Bradley is a man that must be feared and respected, but Vaughn always goes for restraint, trusting that the audience doesn’t need him to give a speech or a grand gesture to establish his personality.
There are a lot of rough patches in Brawl in Cell Block 99. It’s paced like an assembly cut, with every scene feeling too long (and there are about twelve too many scenes of Vaughn driving in silence or walking across a room and so on). There’s a deadly serious patience to the film that defies what actually goes down in the plot. What we’ve got here is an 85-minute piece of delirious, feverish trash, stretched kicking and screaming into a unbearable running time.

Not quite as deadly but still is an issue is Vaughn himself. While incredibly tall (Zahler makes sure that every shot emphasizes how huge he is compared to his co-stars), Vaughn is never particularly convincing as a bruiser whose physicality immediately impresses total strangers. It’s not a bad performance, just a weird one – you can feel him giving himself over to the character, subjecting himself to Zahler’s grotesque whims, and rolling with the film’s increasingly outlandish storytelling with a straight face. But you never escape the feeling that he’s a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. It’s never quite as convincing as it should be.

Brawl in Cell Block 99 may not be the movie you expect, but it’s still a surprisingly rich and powerful film despite its grind house soul. Rather than go for the audience’s bloodlust from the start, the movie wants us to invest in Bradley and care about his decisions as much as we care about how badly he can beat people to a pulp. Thanks to Vaughn’s performance and Zahler’s direction, Brawl in Cell Block 99 is able to walk the line between a down-and-dirty picture and one that genuinely cares about its tragic protagonist.

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October 13, 2017
Quality: 5/5 | Source: Official web stream

Submitted by: Ramona Flowers | Trust Rank level: Professional
Format: Torrent | Site: ExtraTorrent

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Brawl In Cell Block 99 Official Trailer #1 (2017) Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter Thriller Movie HD
Brawl In Cell Block 99 Official Trailer #1 (2017) ...

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