Film Review: BUSHWICK (USA 2016)

bushwick.jpgWhen a Texas military force invades their Brooklyn neighborhood, 20-year-old Lucy and war veteran Stupe must depend on each other to survive.

Directors: Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott
Writers: Nick Damici, Graham Reznick
Stars: Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow, Christian Navarro

Review by Gilbert Seah
 

 BUSHWICK is a working-class neighbourhood in the northern part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The neighbourhood, historically a community of Germanic immigrants and their descendants, has been predominantly Hispanic in the late 20th century. The neighbourhood, formerly Brooklyn’s 18th Ward, is now part of Brooklyn Community Board 4. It has been the scene of extreme looting during the 1977 blackout. This low income working-class venue has been chosen as the setting for directors Murnion and Milott apocalyptic tale of destruction, chaos and survival.

When the film opens, directors Murnion and Milot prompts the audience to evaluate their most dreaded fears. As 20-year old Lucy (Brittany Snow) chides her boyfriend for being scared of being in the dark while leaving the underground (subway), he replies that he should get some incentive for not being scared As they converse, they notice that they see no one else. The place is deserted. Then appears from nowhere a man screaming as he is inflamed. The two run to the street level where the boyfriend is shot and she left alone. Lucy then meets Stupe (Dave Bautista) and the two newly met companions bind together to figure out what is going on. The script does not reveal the answer till half way through the film.

The film, written by Nick Damici and Graham Reznick is well shot by Lyle Vincent with an atmosphere of the end of the world scenario. The trouble is that audiences have seen all this before in a dozen or so films of this nature. With only two main characters, the film becomes not only more minimal but hardly credible. How and why has so much happened in the so few minutes that Lucy is in the underground? Do the audience really care? There is hardly any excitement created as no one really cares about these two characters. Also, any reason for this has been already put together in one movie or other.

The script is devoid of humour. The only funny part appears to be the name of the main character – Stupe. The film is quite violent in terms of wounds see on screen like Lucy’s shot-off finger and Stupe’s wound.

Actors Bautista and Snow do their upmost best to keep their characters interesting. The scene where Stupe has to pull out chard of metal from his leg, with Lucy looking on while burning it with red hot metal for at least 5 seconds to kill the germs, seems to be put there to gross out audiences but still with little effect.

The film is nothing more, than running around, shootings, more running around and even more shootings. More people get killed, then more running around and shootings. The film contains a lot of false hopes One is the search for Father John in a church.

Another appears to be evacuation by helicopters at a park. But when the climax comes, nothing much makes much sense. This film is clearly as the saying goes, a film with no head and no tail.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKvNp0PEkHY

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