First off, it was a miracle that I even got to see BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 on the big screen! A big shout out to my local Alamo Drafthouse for making that happen.
For me BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 came out of nowhere. As I recall I don't remember hearing a thing about the movie until it became a hit a this years Fantastic Fest. It didn't take much for me to be interested. A gritty prison movie starting Vince Vaughn, and it's from the guy who directed BONE TOMAHAWK. Consider me instantly sold!
Not always, but it seems that most films that get bought at Fantastic Fest don't get shown again until a year later. So I was surprised how quickly BRAWL IN CELL BLOCL 99 was available on VOD and theaters. Not that long ago if I was wanting to see a film like BRAWL I'd have to rent it on VOD. But now that there is a Alamo Drafthouse where I live, the odds of me seeing more independent fare on the big screen has risen.
BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 is about a former boxer named Bradly (don't call him Brad) who get's laid off from his job as a Repo man or Tow Truck driver, it's definitely one of the two. Adding to his bad day Bradly comes home catching his wife about to leave him. Frustrated, he takes his anger out on her car. As my friend put it, Bradly goes 'Street Fighter' Challenger Mode on the car by busting windows with his fist, chopping of side mirrors, and ripping off the hood of a car. Yeah, don't mess with this guy!
After a heartfelt talk they decide to stay together. But Bradley needs a job and some good money. Temporarily he decides to run drugs. Several months go by and Bradley's wife Lauren is pregnant and their financial situation has improved. One day Gil, Bradley's boss tells him to run drugs with a couple other guys. Bradley has a bad feeling about the job but Gil convinces him to do it anyway.
Sure enough Bradley's gut feeling is right and because his two new "co-workers" decide to go cowboy on the police, he kills them. Not giving up Gil or any other associates, Bradley is served a sentence of 7 years in prison.
After about what feels like only his first week in prison Bradley gets blackmailed into getting transferred to a maximum security facility. He's ordered to kill a inmate or his baby will be aborted. Bradley goes along with it and gets transferred, only to discover that he's been double crossed and has now entered a world of utter hell.
BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 is the most gritty and violent film I've seen this year! Yeah, JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 has a higher body count (therefore more violent) but the brutality that Bradley lays on his oppressors is just as shocking as the Boogyman's gun-fu! Seriously, Bradley could go toe to toe with Captain America and I'd probably be putting money on Bradley.
If you like gritty exploitation movies then I highly recommend BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99! Sometimes Alamo Drafthouse curates a pre-show before the movies. There is a reason that they showed the trailer for RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY before the movie.