Brawl in Cell Block 99 with Vince Vaughn
Film review by James LaFond
In terms of masculine affirmation in the face of the indistinct and habitually faceless evil of the modern world, Brawl on Cell Block 99 is a masterpiece of the budding genre of whitesploitation.
The soundtrack is 1970s and new retro soul, although the protagonist is a rural white man with an unshakable moral compass, the moral compass put to the test when he is laid off and comes home to find his wife unfaithful to him.
Bradley, a Christian of Irish decent, who insists on being addressed as Bradley and not the diminutive Brad, lives strictly and truthfully in the bowels of the Lie of Modernity, is utterly and clearly doomed from the beginning of the film—which then expands inward and upward into a study in heroism.
At every step of the way the moral and legal authority figures are Latino and black, yet Bradley’s doom is held in the hands of the white enforcers of the System, just like Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull would be killed by slave-traitors of their own kind, when it was decreed by the God of things that the old combative race must be done away with in favor of stepping and fetching souls of scant account.
The violence is first rate, the “bad guys” very often sympathetic actors, with Bradley finding common cause more easily with blacks of his own class—who, according to the soundtrack, bequeathed him their lot on the social swamp pyramid—than with the Latino invaders or the Caucasian traitors.
His best line, before ripping into a pack of Mexicans on a prison yard, was in response to being called gringo. He takes no offense to being called blanco, but when the man who hangs a flag from his front porch is called a foreigner in his own country, he responds that the last time he checked, the flag was not “Red, white and burrito,” demonstrating the primordially gentile lack of diplomacy which won his ancestors more berths on slave ships per capita than any tribe of West Africans.
Brawl on cell Block 99 is my new favorite movie and my favorite action star is now Vince Vaughn and his Frankenstein Fu depiction of a direct actionist possessed of a rare but awkward strength. The Character, Bradley Thomas, reminds me of nothing more than Robert E. Howard’s Esau Cairn, an inspirational hero for the men of a dying race.
(c) 2018 James LaFond