DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE
2018, Summit Entertainment, 158 min, USA/Canada, Dir: S. Craig Zahler

Hot on the heels of the spectacular pugilism of BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, S. Craig Zahler closes out a triptych of blunt-force trauma that hasn’t been witnessed since the sweaty grit of Peckinpah and Schrader at their muscular peaks. Here suspended cops Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) attempt to subvert a bank heist for private gain - but best-made plans don’t transpire as they should, resulting in murder, mutilation and a script that divides, conquers and challenges from the opening shot. Zahler expertly immerses us in a toxic environment where right and wrong are indistinguishable, and Gibson and Vaughn give him all the ammunition he needs with flawless performances as iconic antiheroes out of place and out of time - bad men doing bad things whom we willfully embrace as the lesser of the evils presented.


LETHAL WEAPON
1987, Warner Bros., 110 min, USA, Dir: Richard Donner

Two mismatched LAPD detectives - on-the-edge Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and 50-year-old family man Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) – are assigned to investigate a death that leads them to a heroin smuggling ring. The quintessential buddy-cop film, LETHAL WEAPON launched a hugely successful franchise, kick-starting Shane Black’s career as an action screenwriter and giving Gary Busey one of his juiciest roles as menacing heavy Joshua.


MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME
1985, Warner Bros., 107 min, Australia, Dir: George Miller

Max (Mel Gibson) finds himself among a group of children being oppressed by matriarchal uber-capitalist Tina Turner.


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