Brawl in Cell Block 99 Ending, Explained: Who Is Christopher Bridge?

S. Craig Zahler’s action-filled prison flick ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’ follows the story of a former boxer, Bradley Thomas, who turns to drug running in order to provide for his family. However, after a pick-up job with a new client goes sour, the man finds himself acquiring a prison sentence and a brand new enemy. Consequently, shortly after Bradley resorts to years of monotonous imprisonment, his life takes another sharp turn when his enemies on the outside world threaten his pregnant wife, Lauren. Thus, faced with an ultimatum, Bradley has to go down a dangerously reckless path and finish an assassination in the deadliest prison to earn his family’s freedom.

Throughout the film, Bradley faces increasingly violent and life-threatening situations. Nevertheless, he remains hellbent on his mission to locate and eliminate Christopher Bridge. For the same reason, as the audience watches the man spiraling into progressively more hellish circumstances, they must wonder where the story’s end takes Bradley. SPOILERS HEAD!

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Plot Synopsis

During lay-offs, Bradley Thomas loses his job at the mechanic’s garage and returns home to learn about his wife, Lauren’s infidelity. Although the man loses his temper and wrecks his wife’s car, he doesn’t allow Lauren to see him in such a state and maintains a calm environment when he confronts her. The couple had been drifting apart for some time now, especially since the impact of Lauren’s previous miscarriage. Yet, despite everything, the pair has been through many ups and downs together.

As a result, Bradley and Lauren decide not to give up on their marriage and start fresh by introducing a baby into their family. However, the same would require a steady and hefty income. Consequently, Bradley decides to call up his old friend, Gil, who is in the drug dealing industry and secures a job as a drug runner. In a few months, the couple turned their lives around with a new house, rekindled love, and a baby on the way. Still, their happiness turns out to be short-lived.

Gil decides to go into business with a new associate, Eleazar, whose men will accompany Bradley to pick up drugs from a nighttime ocean drop-off. However, Bradley, who has been sober for a while, distrusts one of Eleazar’s men, Roman. Nonetheless, he doesn’t have much of a choice and has to play along. As expected, things go wrong on the pickup night when Roman refuses to listen to his orders and gets into an altercation with the police.

Although Bradley has the opportunity to run away from the scene undetected, he’s unable to watch Roman attack the officers of the law. Therefore, he returns to incapacitate Roman and his partner. Inevitably, the cops arrest Bradley and take him into custody. Still, despite his earlier aid to the police, Bradley refuses to cooperate further and snitch on his comrades. Thus, he ends up receiving a prison sentence of seven years, further cementing his distrust of the justice system.

Bradley is a man of code and lives by it. He helped the officers on the night of the drug deal in compliance with his morals, and now he has accepted the consequences of his actions. Yet, his decision to serve his sentence without causing any trouble soon comes crumbling down when he gets a visitor in prison. The visitor, one of Eleazar’s men, subtly informs Bradley that the criminal’s gang has Lauren. Eleazar has ordered their men to employ a unique abortionist to perform experimental procedures on the woman.

Eleazar blames Bradley for the drug deal gone wrong and wants him to pay him back for the loss he has endured. As such, he uses Lauren and her unborn child as leverage, threatening to hurt them unless Bradley kills another prisoner for him. However, the prisoner in question, Christopher Bridge, is in a maximum security prison, Red Leaf. As such, Bradley realizes he must establish himself as a dangerous inmate to get a transfer. For the same reason, the man begins beating up prison guards and gets transferred to Red Leaf within the day.

Warden Tuggs, in charge of the Red Leaf prison, runs a tight ship and offers little freedom to his prisoners. Furthermore, he has no issues condemning his inmates to inhuman living conditions to rot in solitary. Even so, Bradley learns that the conditions at Cell Block 99 are even worse, reserved for the worst of the worst. Since Christopher Bridge is supposed to be kept within that cell block, Bradley picks a fight with the prison’s gang and effectively earns himself a spot at Cell Block 99.

Brawl in Cell Block 99: Why Does Eleazar Want Christopher Bridge Dead? Does Bradley Find Him?

Bradley doesn’t stop to think about his enemy’s motives once he gets the news about Lauren’s abduction. Instead, he simply jumps into completing the task at hand and securing his family’s safety. As a result, in quick succession, the man torments his guards until arriving at the worst facet of the prison system, Red Leaf’s Cell Block 99. According to Eleazar’s messenger, Christopher Bridge is meant to be residing there, allowing Bradley the opportunity to kill him.

However, Bradley learns a different truth upon his arrival. Tuggs is a very efficient warden who thrives on dehumanizing his prisoners by providing them with the most suffocating living conditions. As such, part of his rules include a shock belt set to stun the wearers with electricity bolts in a single press of a remote. Tuggs forces all his inmates to wear the stun belt and delivers punishment upon them at his whim. Bradley, of course, is no exception.

Therefore, considering the measures Tuggs takes to ensure the inmates at Cell Block 99 remain under his control, it doesn’t make much sense once Bradley learns that his cell neighbor has never heard of a man named Christopher Bridge. With the revelation, Bradley realizes that Christopher Bridge doesn’t exist and was only a ploy for Eleazar to condemn Bradley to an even more hellish prison sentence. Through Christopher, the criminal mastermind brought Bradley to Cell Block 99.

Eleazar lost millions of dollars on the drug deal that got him and his men arrested alongside Bradley. Therefore, he orchestrated a wild goose chase to bring Bradley to him. Nonetheless, despite the theatrics, Lauren and her unborn child are still under Eleazar’s men’s subjugation. Therefore, Bradley remains as helpless as ever, realizing neither he nor his family might make it out of this nightmare alive.

Does Bradley Save Lauren and Their Kid?

The realization that Christopher Bridge doesn’t exist only further condemns Bradley, as it robs him of the one chance he has to save his family. Since Eleazar has been playing a game with Bradley from the start, the former has no intentions to release his pregnant wife without harming her. However, once Bradley realizes the same, it paints a brutal picture for Eleazar. Even though Bradley takes Eleazar and his men, including Roman’s beatings, on their first meeting at the 99 Cell Block, he simultaneously cooks a plan.

The following day, Bradley stuffs his rubber shoe soles between his body and the stun belt. Although it leaves his feet vulnerable, it cuts off the stunner’s ability to electrocute his body. Consequently, when the guards arrive, Bradley attacks them while they’re unable to use the stun belt against him. After incapacitating the guards, Bradley attacks Eleazar and his gang at the prison’s empty cafeteria. Nevertheless, as Bradley ruthlessly kills his henchmen, Eleazar threatens to make a phone call and order his men to perform inhuman medical procedures on Bradley’s baby.

However, Bradley takes an unexpected approach and beats Eleazar up, threatening to kill him unless he calls the operation off. Eleazar, who has just seen the man kill people with his bare hands, has no choice but to comply. Furthermore, Bradley gets him to release Lauren and deliver her to Gil, who will keep her safe.

While Bradley waits for Lauren to arrive to safety, he holds the prison guards hostage to ensure Tuggs doesn’t ruin his plans. Eventually, Lauren is reunited with Gil, and the pair kill Eleazar’s messenger and the abortionist. Once they neutralize the threats, GiIl calls Bradley to inform him. In turn, the man says a heartfelt goodbye to his wife and unborn child, knowing Tuggs won’t let him walk away from this situation alive. However, Bradley is willing to give up his life since his family’s safety is the most crucial thing to him.

Still, Bradley asks Tuggs for a few more minutes after the call, in which he ruthlessly delivers Eleazar to his death to ensure he can never target Lauren or their kid again. In the end, Bradley saves his family but loses his own life as Warden Tuggs executes him inside Cell Block 99 for the havoc he caused and the lives he has taken in the past few days.

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