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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Asphalt City (2024) aka Black Flies

As I sit here in my comfy work from home blissful ignorance, I'm left hoping that this has been beefed up at least a little for the purposes of entertainment. I couldn't imagine doing this job at the best of times and an hour or two in the company of Tye Sheridan and Sean Penn is not the best of times. It's the complete opposite, if we're honest. So I'm hoping this is somewhat embellished, but something tells me that this isn't the case.

The life of a paramedic is clearly a grim and challenging one, especially on the mean streets of NYC, where the victims are nearly as grizzled as the people sent out every day to save them. You never know what you're going to have to deal with, but you can be pretty sure that it's probably grisly and unpleasant.

From what little I know about the profession, this seems to be perfectly authentic and a good deal of time has clearly gone into making it so. The performances from both Sheridan and Penn are very good and they bounce off each other very well as the two paramedics we are spending most of the film following.

This is liberally interspersed with snippets of home life which never really amounts to much more than a meandering side swipe at what being committed to your job really means. If we're honest, this really interferes with the reason for the films' being and didn't add much in the way of character development.

Occasionally shocking, this will make some viewers very uncomfortable as they go about the sometimes helplessly morbid business of mopping up after humanity that often are the victims of their own idiocy and the film tends to focus on these victims, rather than those innocently walking their dog in the park just prior to a heart attack, which may or may not be a moral decision.

Mike Tyson is not only a surprise but quite a pleasant one too, playing the admittedly limited role of their boss, which he does believably enough. Who knew?


Altogether a very watchable drama that highlights what we already knew really; being a Paramedic is a bloody awful job. The next time you see one, perhaps you should thank them.


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