Bushwick is an area of Brooklyn, New York, where the world has been completely turned upon its head.
We first see Lucy (Brittany Snow) trying to get to her grandma’s house after finishing college for Xmas, walking through the subway with her boyfriend, when they see a man running and screaming…. completely on fire!
venturing outside, circumstances lead to them getting separated, and she’s on her own amongst an angry mob shooting and fi -rebo -mbing the place, meaning the only thing to do is run if you want to survive.
Before long, she teams up with Stupe (Guardians of the Galaxy 2‘s Dave Bautista), who jokes that he knows how to cauterise a leg wound because he used to watch a lot of E.R., when he was really a marine. What follows is a lot of running round Brooklyn, her trying to get to the aforementioned above, while he’s looking to reach Hoboken, New Jersey. They meet one spaced-out resident who thinks all her neighbours are blasting out Call of Duty, in what feels like being trapped in the ‘police state’ videogame Homefront, or a non-alien version of Half Life 2 (below), and there’s definitely some of the latter’s ‘brrrr’ sounds thrown into the soundtrack (those who’ve played the game will know what I mean).
On the plus side, for the most part, Bushwick is presented in a one-take style – I say ‘style’ as you can spot the joins, although it’s effective enough for the fun side of it. Also, most of the gunshots and explosions you hear go off all around them, moreso than what you actually see, but it creates a realistic soundtrack.
However, it slows down in the middle and never quite gains that momentum back, which is a shame. But when it’s good, it’s very good, and so for that, it’s well worth a watch. There’s also some rather obviously-iffy CGI letting it down, such as gunfire bouncing off the street, and fire emblazoning a military baddie’s back, making it look rather unfinished. I know I was watching a preview version, but a friend in the US – where it’s been officially released online – said he saw it and those effects didn’t look any better.
In addition, there was no satisfying explanation for why events in Bushwick had gone so awry.
Running time: 94 minutes
Studio: Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment
Released: August 25th 2017
Directors: Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott
Producers: Nate Bolotin, Adam Folk and Joseph Mensch
Screenplay: Nick Damici and Graham Reznick
Music: Aesop Rock
Stupe: Dave Bautista
Lucy: Brittany Snow
Belinda: Angelic Zambrana
Gregory: Jeff Lima
Priest: Paco Lozano
Eduardo: Christian Navarro
Jose: Arturo Castro
JP: Jeremie Harris
Hector: Leo Minaya
Lt. Quaid: Alex Breaux
Ma: Myra Lucretia Taylor
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.