DVD Review: BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99

BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 was written and directed by S. Craig Zahler and stars Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Marc Blucas, Udo Kier and Don Johnson.

In BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, a former boxer named Bradley (Vince Vaughn) loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage is about to end.  At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work for an old buddy as a drug courier.  This improves his situation until the terrible day that he finds himself in a gunfight between a group of police officers and his own ruthless allies.  When the smoke clears, Bradley is badly hurt and thrown in prison, where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground.

Okay, I’m gonna try to do this without spoiling things for you. This intense action-thriller follows Bradley Thomas, a tough guy type who appears to have had a rough road and is simply trying to provide for his wife and unborn child and give them a good life. Bradley ends up taking this drug courier job and it ends up getting him in big trouble and incarcerated. What happens is, Bradley finds out that he crossed the wrong man and is given a nearly impossible ultimatum in prison that he’s forced to agree to. Bradley accepts this arrangement and ends up becoming a one man wrecking machine as he makes his way to his target and ends up showing the man he crossed that he’s the one who messed with the wong guy.

S. Craig Zahler delivers again with a great script and an intense movie that’s a no holds barred showcase of violence, blood and gore. The movie has an amazing cast that’s led by Vince “The Machine” Vaughn who portrays a type of character I thought I’d never see him play. There’s some awesome fights scenes that are courtesy of this interesting fella so get ready for some well choreographed violence. Next up is Jennifer Carpenter who plays his loving wife and she does a really good job with her character. You can tell the two characters have been through a lot together but they’re still there for each other through thick and thin. Last but not least is the iconic Don Johnson who plays Warden Tuggs and he does a fantastic job as the cold host who welcomes Vince Vaughn’s character to his new home.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits. The DVD disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Brawl in Cell Block 99 was a fantastic throwback to those violent grindhouse movies from the 70’s. The story was interesting and the movie itself is the most intense watch I’ve had in 2017 and it’s also one of my new favorites. The cast did a great job with their characters but Vince Vaughn delivered such an incredible performance as this old school tough guy type. He’s not a bad person but he’s made some wrong choices in his life that ultimately get him to this point. Vaughn has starred in some of my favorite comedies over the years but in this movie he plays this towering badass that’s hard to take down. Kinda scary, too! I was blown away with Bone Tomahawk a few years ago and now S. Craig Zahler has delivered a violent masterpiece with his follow up. Make no mistake about, this one isn’t for everybody but if you’re an action movie junkie and you like a little of the red stuff served with your head stomping then this is your stop. This one delivers on all cylinders and Vince Vaughn is the machine that drives it. Brawl in Cell Block 99 is now available on DVD and definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: RLJE Films

Run Time: 132 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: Widescreen (1.85:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features:

  • “Journey to the Brawl: The Making of Brawl in Cell Block 99” (15:09)
  • Beyond Fest Q&A with Cast and Crew (31:28)

 

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