Dir: Cary Murnion/Jonathan Milcot | Writer: Nick Damici | Cast: David Bautista, Brittany Snow, Chrisian Navarro, Arturo Castro | Drama | 93′ | US
BUSHWICK operates from the faintly outlandish idea that this Brooklyn suberb has been invaded by a faceless military coup forcing its denizens to defend themselves in order to survive. It never gets out of the shadow of this weak plot and questionable premise.
The action follows Lucy (Brittany Snow) and her medic turned janitor boyfriend (Dave Bautista) who have arrived back in her hometown to meet her parents. They emerge from the underground to discover that war has broken out and that a private militia is attempting to force the president to accept the secession of a number of Southern States. Don’t expect to be entertained by witty dialogue here. After a casual conversation in the opening scene the pair’s exchanges are reduced to “Oh my God”, “fuck” and “I feel really weird, like” and a range of other surprised expletives. Clearly, they had their earphones on for the previous weeks/months and failed to notice any political changes during their amorous wanderings. Didn’t Lucy’s parents warn them what to expect when they arrived in Brooklyn?
Directing from a script by Nick Damici, the filmmakers expect us to go along with this constantly unravelling scenario in a political thriller that’s about as tension-fuelled as a stroll in Prospect Park. Our heroes: Lucy, her boyfriend and her sister, seem to be incredibly emotional and stressed out by the ‘insurgency’ but there is really very little real fighting to be had in the streets of Bushwick apart from the odd punch-up and the hum of hovering aircraft, it’s also very dark.
Politically there seems to be some confusion as to who our heroes are fighting against; is it White Supremacy, Hasidic Jews or even Zombies shooting from a graveyard (in one scene) – which is at best ludicrous. This half-baked political narrative is not helped by predictable characters and lacklustre cinematography in street scenes that feel stagey rather than convincing for an action thriller. What could have been an opportunity to make a shrewd political and social statement just misfires radically from the outset. The ensemble cast are unremarkable, not even Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) can inject any real macho charisma here. MT.
ON GENERAL RELEASE FROM 25 AUGUST \ EST TVOD 28 AUGUST 2017