Bushwick - This Low Budget Big Idea Movie Just About Rocks
Dir: Cary Murnion & Jonathan Milott
Starring Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow
For the first twenty minutes or so, you may well think that Bushwick is to be presented as a single take. True, the wonders of digital filmmaking these days mean that you can hide those sneaky cuts better than ever before and make it look that way, but this is not to be the case here, although its two directors do go for very long, single takes. All the more impressive given that their movie is set in the titular New York district, once the city appears to have been invaded by militia unknown.
As Lucy (Snow) is on her way to bring the boyfriend home to meet granny (he doesn’t make it, she doesn’t seem overly bothered) all hell breaks lose as they emerge from the subway. NY is under siege and helicopters are falling from the sky, just as every local appears to be armed and up for not just repelling the invading marauders, but looting and killing everything in sight. Imagine an unsanctioned Purge night and you’re pretty much there. Lucy soon teams up with ex Marine Stupe (Bautista) and together they seek to make their way through what’s left of the city in search of some form of safety.
Whilst the movie’s fx often betray its budget (or lack thereof), neophyte directors Murnion and Milott display great ambition here, if not a completely firm grasp of storytelling. The fires and explosions may well look like they were created on a home computer programme from a few years back, but their presence in the always on location movie still have strong impact. And whilst the long, sustained takes are generally well staged, there are times when the action grinds to a halt for moments of exposition – turns out the South has risen again and it’s a Texan militia that has invaded, all the better to breakaway from the Union (which to everyone’s credit doesn’t come off as daft an idea as it sounds here.)
Bautista is strong though, managing to display far more range that Drax usually allows; Snow, meanwhile, rarely rises above confused and whiney.
Overall, despite its obvious flaws, Bushwick really goes for it. And mostly gets there.
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