Armond White’s review of Craig Zahler‘s “Dragged Across Concrete” is one of the few honest assessments of what Zahler has accomplished with his third feature-length film [via National Review]:
“At last, we have an American filmmaker who has experienced Tarantino and got past it. Zahler’s surprisingly felt art is not predicated on movie violence, even though genre violence is his métier. Despite Zahler’s heightened form of crime fantasy, Dragged Across Concrete presents a strangely naturalistic worldview. Instead of imagining how heartless — or ‘cool’ — mankind can be, Zahler looks for hidden virtues in each situation, no matter how bizarre.
“Most Hollywood movies — post-Tarantino — distract us from viewing American life as a unique experience. Zahler gravitates toward the violent and the outré as comic aspects of American greed and lust.
“But he doesn’t stop there, as Tarantino does. Zahler’s characters are full of yearning (uncorrupted desire and love). That explains the plot digression about an anxious new mother (Jennifer Carpenter) reentering the workforce. Her fate triggers the heroic rescue action that will determine each man’s familial resolve.”
The 76% Rotten Tomatoes rating is rather underwhelming, given the actual quality of the film.
I am going to go ahead and state the obvious now. This movie was not made for fragile sensibilities. It is being compared to that of a rightwing fantasy and that it’s too insensitive, too brutal, alas, this is really just a political showcase for these writers to claim pureness and circumvent any possible outrage that would come in their acknowledgement that this is actually a gripping and meditative thriller.
And so I call out Manohla Dargis, Justin Chang, Todd Gilchrist, Marlow Stern and Richard Brody, among many more, for their dismissals of the film, one which will stand the test of time and render their write-ups as obsolete.
My review of the film can be read via a simple click.