FILM REVIEW+ VIDEO REVIEW: BUSHWICK
Let me get something out of the way first and foremost: DO NOT LOOK AT THE POSTER FOR BUSHWICK. Do not watch the most recent trailer and don’t go to the films IMDB page. You just have to trust me on this one. I say this because one of the really neat things about this film, is an amazing plot point that they blow before the film has even started. Not sure why they chose to do that, but I am glad I didn’t see or watch those before watching BUSHWICK as it would have really taken away from the experience.
BUSHWICK stars WWE superstar Dave Bautista who also is an Executive Producer on the film. Bautista plays Stupe (I’m still mystified by that name), an ex-marine residing in Bushwick, trying to navigate the hell on earth it has seemingly overnight become. Brittany Snow plays Lucy who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was on her way to her grandmothers house in Bushwick, the place she grew up, to introduce her to her new boyfriend when she walks into this New York warzone. Her boyfriends life is lost almost instantly and Lucy is left to fend for herself. This is when Lucy and Stupe find each other and decide to try and navigate 5 blocks of Bushwick together without being killed by this unknown enemy.
Now, you all may be more familiar with Dave Bautista as an actor from his performances in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and SPECTRE, but as someone who only watches horror and action movies, this was my first time seeing him act. I wasn’t expecting much but I was really pleasantly surprised. Bautista gave a really thoughtful performance that provided a lot of depth of character and he emoted something beautiful in some treacherous situations. I was really, really impressed and actually touched by his performance.
Brittany Snow was really secondary performance-wise but that’s not to say she did a poor job. She did really well with the role she was given and the situations her character faced, though at times it was a bit cliché. I felt she was a little disconnected as a character from the situations she was navigating, though that could be explained by the shock of everything transpiring, as well as the drugs Stupe gives her after she blows her finger off trying to shoot at some looters.
While not as layered a character as Stupe, Lucy does provide some much needed comic relief. Let me tell you that this movie is great, but incredibly grim. It is not the film I expected from the trailer I saw which looked like a fun POV first person shooter video game style action flick. This film actually left me feeling really bad. Why? Multiple reasons, one being that it runs a wee bit too close to the current state of affairs in the United States and that bums me out immensely. I’m not sure when this movie was made, I’m guessing a year if not more ago, and this movie reads like a documentary at times. It also filled me with this gross voyeuristic feeling due to the way the film is shot. It’s shot as though you are a fly on the wall, watching and following along with our leads but never involving yourself. Never stepping in to help even when you watch someone die. It’s that “Worldstar!”, bystander-effect that has become all too familiar in the world and makes me feel really gross. This movie also didn’t tie itself up nicely as most movies do. It didn’t really have an end-goal, it just drops you into a horrible situation and you alternate between watching people die, and watching people reach temporary safety. It is really odd that way, but it made me think. I thought about BUSHWICK for days after and actually, had to take a break while watching it to think about and digest what I was getting myself into. It was hard to watch, yet impossible to look away.
While I appreciated the film immensely, I felt bad post-viewing. BUSHWICK is a film I want to recommend because it is excellent, but if you are like me you will not feel great about it.
BUSHWICK is in theatres now and I highly recommend you see it, sorry about the post-BUSHWICK bummer you will experience.
“BUSHWICK is incredibly bloody and grim. An excellent film that is all too aptly timed”
For more on BUSHWICK don’t forget to check out the video review below with film director Matt Campagna of YOUR GEEK NEWS!