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  • Eddie Williams

Brawl In Cell Block 99 - Written Movie Review


Eddie here. I'm reviewing Brawl In Cell Block 99, directed by S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk) and stars Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, and Don Johnson. Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn) , a former boxer who loses his job as an auto mechanic and his marriage starts to fall into shambles. With nowhere else to turn, he feels that he has no better option than to go back to work as a drug runner. He soon finds himself in a gun fight between police officers and his own ruthless allies. Bradley is thrown into prison where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence to pay off a debt, which soon turns the prison ground into a battlefield. Now I discovered this film by accident when a trailer for it popped up on YouTube and it actually got me kind of hyped because I love seeing Vince Vaughn play dark roles, which he hasn't done since the beginning of his career. After watching it, I thought it was okay, but it has its flaws despite not trying to take it too seriously. Starting with my pros, I absolutely enjoyed Vince Vaughn's performance in this film. He captures the Southern country boy feel to his character perfectly and he's extremely ruthless as hell. I absolutely loved the brutality in this film. Everything seems to be done with practical effects, which is always a plus for me. I did like the story but it has its problems, which I'll explain in my cons. I'm actually happy they didn't go with your typical undercover officer going to prison to stop the villain approach, which was good. I really enjoyed the grittiness to this film as it feels like I was watching a Grindhouse flick. There's a few more things that I liked that I could go into, but I want to keep it simple without much spoilers. With my cons, this films does have some pacing issues despite it having some good dialogue. Keep in mind though, this director did Bone Tomahawk and in that film, it had some major pacing issues despite me liking it. It takes a while for things to get to the point and you don't get into the prison part till around the 50 minute mark. The film does lose me a bit on some scenes, but that's because some of the prison fight scenes do get repetitive even though the violence keeps me watching. The film is shot somewhat like a limited release where you do feel that low budget / straight-to- video tone to it and some of the other cast members' performances are exactly what you'd typically see in straight-to-video films. I was disappointed in how some of these villains were getting hurt in very brutal ways, but they didn't seem to feel much pain. For example, there's this dude that gets his leg snapped in half but he doesn't scream in pain. No matter how unrealistic your film is, that shouldn't be something you do when it comes to violent scenes. This film also feels like it's 4 different movies rolled up into one. It works sometimes, but it makes the tone feel strange. Look, you're gonna have to go into this film and not take it seriously because there's a lot of stuff that wouldn't really happen in real life; for example, the prisons in this film aren't ran realistically and it feels like something you'd see from the movie Death Race. The ending was pretty shocking in a good way and this film wasn't bad at all, more of a popcorn fun type of entertainment. I really hope Vince Vaughn takes more of these type of darker roles because I think his talents really shines better in darker films than soft comedies / chick flicks that's he's known for doing. I'm going to give Brawl in Cell Block 99 a 6.5/10. hat were your thoughts on this film? Leave me a comment below and I'll see you in the next review.


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