• It’s the story of a moral man—who is both highly principled and highly violent (great form of him smashing up a car when he finds out his wife is cheating and he’s been fire don same day)
  • He’s basically getting shit on and forced into extremely difficult circumstances- close to a living hell- it actually reminded me a bit of the character arc of breaking bad season 1
  • He says “Howdy” repeatedly and doesn’t like to be called Brad but “Bradley”
  • The pacing is deliverable and procedural (checking in and out of prison is going to test some viewers)—Zahler does like to hear himself talk a little like Tarantino but he’s a gifted writer so it’s not a bad thing
  • Harkens to some 70’s action and exploitation films but it’s really a unique take—Zahler isn’t perfect, there are flaws, and it’s no great achievement (won’t end up in my top 20 or so of 2017) but S. Craig Zahler has a voice. He’s an auteur
  • Brutally violent and masculine— but believable physicality on display from the towering Vince Vaughn (who is as good here as he is in Wedding Crashers and Swingers). Zahler’s bone crunching noise is a trademark (along with genre revisionism and combining them (this is a drug movie, prison film and horror film) just like Bone Tomahawk was a western and horror) just like QT has picked up and used the exaggerated spraying of blood
  • Good supporting turns by Udo Kier and Don Johnson
  • Satisfying climax
  • Major problem with his motivation in a key scene (drug bust). I just don’t believe someone this dedicated to his wife and daughter would jeopardize all that to save a cop or get even with someone who had crossed him
  • Don’t understand the weird R & B music at all—takes you out of the film with this giant 6’5 blue collar guy with a shaved head and cross tattoo on the back of it
  • Recommend