Review: Brawl In Cell Block 99 (2017) (One Of The Best Films of 2017?)

“I don’t think things even out fair like that?”

Welcome to the first film I watched in 2018! Well, okay, that’s a lie…the first film I watched in 2018 was Bring It On. But let’s not talk about that. Brawl in Cell Block 99 was the unofficial first film I watched in 2018. I’d only heard good things about it. When the credits started to roll, I wondered about the whereabouts of these “good things.” Apart from a hilarious destruction of a car by Brad (played by Vince Vaughn) in the first five minutes of the film, I was bored senseless. Even the excessive gore failed to stir any emotion in me.

Here are the basics: Brad gets fired from his job. He turns to dealing drugs, a drug deal goes wrong and he goes to prison. Whilst in prison, he finds out his pregnant wife is being held hostage. To set her free, he has to get himself transferred to the worst prison in America and kill someone…okay, the plot is complete nonsense. But sometimes, that isn’t a problem, is it? As long as the characters are likeable, and the action plods along nicely, a silly plot doesn’t mean a thing.

“Wanna start some stuff?”

Unfortunately, the film drags after the hilarious first few minutes. I could have watched Vince Vaughn dismantle a car with his bare hand for just over two hours. Instead, we are subjected to his mediocre attempt to act like a hard man. That consists of him muttering quietly and attacking people. From this Of course, he’s head and shoulders above anyone else in this movie. They seemed to not understand anything about acting. Apart from Don Johnson. He tries to make the best out of a bad script. He almost succeeds. But how can you follow a film if the acting is across the board awful?

Here’s the back of Vince Vaughn’s head. As a treat.

So, the plot and the acting are definite misses. So it’s up to the much lauded gore and brutality to save the film. It didn’t. All I saw were slow, wooden fight scenes that didn’t flow and looked overly staged. Guns were fired without gun flash effects. Brad’s hit by metal bars and such but shakes it off. There’s a lot of brutality, that’s to be sure. Limbs are snapped in half, faces are ground into the floor, skulls are crushed…but it all looked fake. Sometimes that isn’t a problem, but here it looked too ridiculous. I’ve seen better gore effects from 1970s B-Movies.

To top it all off, Brawl in Cell Block 99 is boring. Things happen, yes, but they descend into stupidity all too quickly. But neither the script nor the acting pulled me into the film. When you’re fidgeting twenty minutes into a film, you know something’s wrong. That fidgeting continued for its lengthy duration. I’d suggest cutting the film by half an hour, but I doubt that would improve things. Maybe I missed the point of the entire film, but when the credits rolled I wondered the point of it all. It’s clash of sincerity and ludicrousness only made it all the more puzzling.

VERDICT: 2/10. Brawl in Cell Block 99 is dull and dreary. It’s awful acting, script and fight scenes add up to one pointless film. Or maybe I just didn’t get it?!?! One of the worst films of 2017.

What did you think of  Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017)? Leave your thoughts/comments below!

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