Genre : Crime/Drama
Country : USA
Vince Vaughn : Bradley Thomas
Jennifer Carpenter : Lauren Thomas
Don Johnson : Warden Tuggs
S. Craig Zahler
My opinion on “Brawl in Cell Block 99”
“You said you would never work for Gil.
So we’re both breaking promises today.”
Vince Vaughn in a crime movie where he plays a rough-looking drug dealer? You gotta be kidding me. Although he surprised me with an excellent part in “Hacksaw Ridge“, I always associate him with feel-good, romantic crap movies with the kind of humor I never laugh about in most cases. Well, I was totally wrong this time. Vince Vaughn is ruthless, mega calm and ultra-brutal in this extreme violent film. Better yet. He’s even funny now. Funnier than whatever comedy he played in before. And this thanks to the dryly, humorous remarks he makes sometimes. The moment someone mentions his name again, I’ll see that tattooed cross on the back of a bald skull directly in front of me.
Vince Vaughn isn’t having fun here.
Life hasn’t been so good for Bradley (Vince Vaughn). After being fired, he finds out that his wife Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter) is cheating on him. Next he starts working as a drug runner to bring in some money. Before he knows it, he’s facing a long prison sentence because of a failed drug deal. And from that moment on, the movie changes into a higher gear. Indeed, the movie wasn’t really fast till that moment. Before you even see anything of a prison, you’ve been watching the screen already for some time. And then it goes from bad to worse for Bradley. His wife is being kidnapped by the leader of the drug gang (who wants to regain his financial loss) and Bradley has to kill an inmate who’s locked up in cell 99 in the heavely guarded prison of Red Leaf.
Not a movie for sissies !
This is without a doubt Vince Vaughn’s best acting achievement ever. Finally his impressive body is being used for the right purpose. Relentlessly beating up opponents and transforming them into a pile of crushed human flesh. Something that’ll happen regularly in this ultra-violent film. Every time it looks as if Bradley has to lift his immensely heavy limbs and strike a guard or another criminal with devastating force in the face. The result is always repulsive brutal. Seeing a skull bursting open like an overripe tomato or the awareness of what the Korean is going to do with Bradley’s wife, may be a bit too much for some. “Brawl in cell block 99” certainly isn’t a film for sensitive viewers. But this sadistic violence serves a purpose. Bradley has a specific goal in mind and is therefore forced to take this violent path.
I was totally flabbergasted after seeing “Brawl in cell block 99”
There were a few things in this film that shocked me. The fact that I didn’t recognize Don Johnson baffled me. Was it because of that gigantic mustache? Or was it his age (he’s already 67 years old)? Or is it just me? And then of course the fact that I’m speechles about the acting of Vince Vaughn, who clearly deviates from his usual acting pattern. I don’t think of Vaughn as being one of my favorite actors. But after his performance here, I have to revise my opinion about him. And finally the impression this film made on me. I’m not easily shocked and got my share of extremities used in movies. But this time I was a little bit out of my depth. Somehow the movie messed me up. And that’s not necessarily because of the explicit violence. It’s the overall feeling. I do know that next time I come across a movie with Vince Vaughn playing in it, it won’t be so obvious to just avoid it. He literally knocked himself to the top of my list of “the better” actors.
My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB
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October 25, 2019
Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell, Richard Lippert, Arianna Ortiz, Joy Jacobson, David Yow
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Asher: Ron Perlman Really Was The Most Suitable Person To Play Asher
I just killed a man in the bathroom, and I’m afraid if we don’t leave right now,
they’re gonna call the cops.
Hmm. So it’s true.
Men will say anything for sex.
A hitman who, by chance, encounters a lovely dance teacher and realizes that it’s time to turn his back on his dangerous profession. And then he comes to the conclusion that it’s not so obvious to do that. Well, doesn’t it sound familiar to you? It’s a bit like “Polar“, the “John Wick” -like action thriller, but with considerably fewer action scenes. The way Asher (Ron Perlman) enjoys a carefully cooked meal and a glass of wine on his rooftop terrace while observing the nocturnal activities in the city, is a snapshot that perfectly reflects how the rest of the film feels. You’ll get that easy-going feeling the entire film. So don’t expect an impressive and magically choreographed action film. The fact that one of the targets who Asher had to liquidate, drops dead because of a heart attack before Asher does anything, is telling. Not that the film is deadly boring. But it’s not energetic either.
Perlman is perfect to play Asher.
In my opinion, Ron Perlman really was the most suitable person to play Asher. This impressive-looking actor with his characteristic facial features exudes a kind of calmness and is at the same time intimidating enough. Ron Perlman, better known as “Hellboy” but also known for his contributions to an infinite number of other films, delivers a suitable interpretation. Maybe his age has something to do with it. As a 70-year-old, he does not have to put a lot of effort into playing an almost retired killer. A grayish, tough guy who suddenly starts to notice that his shape is deteriorating. When the lovely Sophie (Famke Janssen) crosses his path, he suddenly realizes that being lonely at an old age isn’t something he’s looking forward to. In any case, it’s a role that demands more than just brute force. And Perlman, who in my eyes looks very much like Thanos, knows perfectly how to keep the balance between the professional, experienced assassin and the old, somewhat gloomy man who realizes that his career is over and that the younger generation will soon take over.
A timid and stressed young woman.
Famke Janssen, who immigrated from the Netherlands to the US and played in blockbusters such as “Taken” and “X-men“, isn’t playing her most impressive role here but still manages to portray the person Sophie in an excellent way. A timid and stressed young woman with a turbulent past and dealing with her own personal problems. It’s mainly her dementing mother Dora (Jacqueline Bisset) she’s worried about. The old woman no longer recognizes her and sometimes responds in a sharp and angry manner. This ensures emotionally charged scenes. And in one way or another, it’s also the reason for an unconsciously funny moment. For me, the conversation between Asher and Sophie about putting Dora out of her misery was the most moving and at the same time funniest moment of the film. An exchange of ideas on how to accomplish this while Sophie has no idea what Asher is actually doing. Let’s say, a tragicomic moment.
The acting wasn’t bad. On the contrary.
“Asher” is a mediocre crime movie that has difficulties getting off the starting blocks. And even when it gains momentum, the pace still seems to be slow and the film still colors nicely within the lines. This time it’s not about bad acting but rather the actionless content. They focus more on the development of a close relationship between two lonely souls. For me, this was enough to call it an interesting film. Even though the subject itself isn’t groundbreaking and some things are bluntly idiotic. For example, I found the corridor scenes in which Asher stood there with his umbrella while the fire alarm went off, completely ridiculous. I thought it was odd that only the targeted person runs out of his apartment in a panic. So, the movie isn’t a high flyer, but if you come across it somewhere on a VOD service, you might still be able to give it a chance.
My rating /10
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