If the goal was to hire an actual racist to play the lead, who better than Mel Gibson to answer the call? It’s the most inspired bit of casting to hit Hollywood (and Gibson’s career) in ages. Gibson and Vince Vaughn play a pair of suspended detectives who put their six weeks off for bad behavior to good use in the service of a simple crime, one that should yield just enough loot to see the belligerent fuzz through the dry spell. A pair of parallel storylines collide causing things to go terribly wrong. For most of its gargantuan running time, S. Craig Zahler’s 159-minute action-thriller keeps the audience teetering on the edge of its collective seat. An exception to that rule: much of the interplay between the two cops takes place in the front seat of an unmarked car, and a stagnant 10-minute discussion of an egg salad sandwich might just as well have been conceived for radio. Only then did the concept of being dragged across the narrative briefly enter my mind. (2018) — Scott Marks
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