Brawl in Cell Block 99 made several people’s top 2017 list. I was late to the game but eager to watch it. What was all the hype about? I’ll admit, the trailers and poster did look intriguing, so I finally gave the Blu-Ray a shot.
Distributed by RLJE Films, this film was directed and written by Bone Tomahawk’s S. Craig Zahler. The cast includes Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, and Tom Guiry.
Official Synopsis for Brawl in Cell Block 99:
A former boxer named Bradley (Vaughn) loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage is about to expire. 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 vocation 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. When in prison, his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground.
The film started out a bit slow for me, but once Bradley arrives at the prison… the fun and brutality began. Although not a horror film per se, Brawl in Cell Block 99 is undoubtedly a horrifying story about what one man will do to protect his family. The limits are endless. The acting is superb, it’s chock full of personality, and it has one spectacularly killer ending.
I’ve always loved Vince Vaughn (especially in Clay Pigeons), but Brawl in Cell Block 99 is hands down one of his best performances ever. His character is raw, brutal, and absolutely fucking magnificent to watch. Jennifer Carpenter and Don Johnson were also exceptional in their roles.
Although the beginning was slow, the insanely brutal and intense kills made up for any slack I felt. It was amazing. Every time a kill was executed, my mouth dropped in shock. It was crazy! As a horror fan, the blood and gore were top notch and never-ending.
The ending of the film was my favorite part. Seeing Bradley take control, kick ass, and stomp people down with his monster feet was eerily beautiful. He was the ultimate fucking badass and I loved every minute of it.
The Blu-Ray has some amazing special features as well, including:
- Journey to the Brawl: The Making of Brawl in Cell Block 99
- The Beyond Fest Q&A with Cast and Crew
- The 4K/Blu-ray combo also features a special alternative retro cover art
It’s totally worth owning it for the bonus features alone. They give awesome insight into the film and the actor’s thoughts about it as well.
This is definitely one film I think everyone should check out at least once. Whether you love Vince Vaughn or not, his performance is a must-see. You really need to witness this insanely intense story with your own eyes and not just read about Brawl in Cell Block 99 in this review. The DVD, DVD/BD combo and Ultra High-Definition4K/Blu-combo is now available – buy it here!