Writer/director S. Craig Zahler drops us into Brawl In Cell Block 99 which unabashedly puts the need for violence across the big screen and given audiences an anti-hero that they never quite expected.
Bradley (Vince Vaughn) is having a bad day, after a fight with his wife (Jennifer Carpenter) on the same day he loses his job this ex-boxer who had been looking to leave his life of violence behind him is forced into the world of drug running as a courier in order to make ends meet. This works for awhile until he gets caught up in a violent gun fight, is sent to jail and being blamed for the loss of the shipment he was responsible for. Surrounded on all sides by corrupt jailers, psychotic inmates with his wife in imminent danger he is thrust into a bear knuckled world of violence that he has to punch his way out of in order to save everything he holds dear.
You wouldn’t think this movie would fly by with its well over two hour run time, but it does and then some as Brawl In Cell Block 99 is an unabashed throw back to the Grindhouse cinema of yesteryear where violence is forced to solve everything. Vince Vaughn captures a quiet rage that is so relatable it’s actually a little scary and his performance is the true magic of this film as we see his Bradley go through hell, just to make things right.