When a Texas military force invades their Brooklyn neighborhood, 20-year-old Lucy and war veteran Stupe must depend on each other to survive.
“Bushwick” is compelling for two reasons: 1) It’s a civil war movie that asks the question, what if the South seceded from the rest of the country? And 2) The film is extraordinarily photographed with 99% of it occurring in one continuous shot. Neither has been seen on celluloid quite the way directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott have presented it here so kudos to them for taking a story that could have been very mundane and turning it into must-see entertainment.
When Lucy (Brittany Snow) steps off the train in Bushwick, a borough of Brooklyn, on her way to visit her grandmother on a break from college, little does she realize that her entire life is about to change. When she steps onto the street, she is greeted by gunfire, explosions, and death. People are shooting each other so she tries to find cover in the basement of a nearby house. Once there, she is quickly chased by two thugs and just as they are about to rape her, they are knocked to the ground and killed by Stupe (Dave Bautista), the owner of the house. With Stupe on his way to Hoboken, both he and Lucy team up, carefully maneuvering their way down embattled streets and finding cover where they can.
She informs Stupe that her sister Belinda (Angelic Zambrana), is on the way and they manage to arrive safely at her place. She is high on marijuana and thinks that all of the surrounding gunfire and helicopter sounds are her neighbors playing video games but she quickly sobers up when an armed soldier breaks into her apartment. Stupe immobilizes him and knocks him to the ground and after roughing him up, demands to know what is going on. The soldier tells him that Texas is seceding from the U.S. and that it has partnered with other Southern states to form a militia and to infiltrate Bushwick for insurgency, with New York to follow. Stupe demands to know where the Demilitarized zone is and the soldier tells him it is Grover Cleveland Park. After knocking him unconscious, Stupe, Lucy, and Belinda pack up and make their way outdoors, with the hope of reaching the DMZ alive.
Because the movie is filmed in one continuous shot, we never get the customary cutting between two characters during conversation which can help heighten emotion and drama but because it is uninterrupted, you feel like you are right there with them, experiencing every gunshot and ricochet. Naturally, the film wasn’t photographed in one continuous shot the whole way through but it gives that appearance, as the filmmakers cleverly cut as characters make their way through darkened hallways or basements, masking the edit in the shadows and giving the impression that they never stopped filming. Dave Bautista, a former wrestler, is making quite a name for himself, after having appeared in both “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, the latest James Bond film, “SPECTRE,” and “Blade Runner 2049,” and here, in spite of his enormous physique, he is more down to earth than he has ever been before. Brittany Snow holds her own against the big guy and they actually make for an appealing and likable duo, occasionally squabbling as they make their way.
With talk over the past few years of Texas actually wanting to secede from the U.S., and California wanting to follow suit, “Bushwick” makes for a very captivating and timely story. Whether the events in the movie would actually come to pass, remains to be seen but until such time, and I honestly doubt it ever will, “Bushwick” is sure to elicit some thought-provoking conversation.
Available on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack & DVD Tuesday, October 24th