Bushwick is a film in the vein of John Carpenter’s Assualt on Precinct 13, James Cameron’s The Terminator, Walter Hill’s The Warriors and Yann Demange’s ‘71. Movies that are born on the streets of sprawling metropolises. They are muscular and mean and violent. These movies break all the rules. They are alive and pulsating
Lucy (Brittany Snow) arrives in the neighborhood of Bushwick (located in the city of Brooklyn) with her boyfriend. They are on their way to see her grandma during a break from college. As soon as they arrive, chaos breaks out and her boyfriend dies in front of her after being set on fire. An unknown military force has started an attack on the city as soon as they step off the subway. Credit where credit is due, Bushwick starts kicking ass immediately.
What I Liked
I love that Bushwick doesn’t overcomplicate things. The entire runtime, 90 minutes, is basically the opening of Red Dawn. Snow is the conduit to this barrage of violence. Everything we discover about what’s happening is through her. In fact, I can’t remember a second of the film where she isn’t onscreen.
Snow eventually runs into Dave Bautista, a mysterious man in the neighborhood who is really good at killing people. They stick together as they fight their way out of Bushwick. Bautista has to be one of the most interesting actors of this decade. He keeps finding himself in fascinating projects. His performances over the past few years have been excellent.
The filmmakers make a wise choice in how they bring the audience into the fold. The movie is comprised of unbroken shots that never cut away from the action. The camera follows our two leads through buildings, gunfights, alleyways and up and down stairways. It feels real, it feels alive and it feels dangerous. I was constantly on edge.
What Could Have Been Improved
Bushwick isn’t entirely solid, however. The reveal of who the mysterious military force feels very forced on the audience from a political perspective. Also, the ending. I’m glad the film goes where it goes. I won’t say a word about it. I just don’t know why the filmmakers ended the film the way they did and where they did. It feels like a gut punch. Maybe that’s the point. But I needed a little more from this movie. Maybe another 10 minutes. Still, this is a strong entry into the action genre.
Bushwick Final Thoughts
Overall, when it comes to Jonathon Milott and Cary Murnion’s Bushwick, I think I admired it more than I liked it. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, I did quite a bit. But there’s a certain energy and technical craft to the film that succeeds very well and is more admirable than the finished product.
Overall Score 3/5