Bushwick movie review: don’t mess with Brooklyn

MaryAnn’s quick take: There’s fierce tension in this breathless urban survival thriller as anarchy comes to New York streets. Terrific, innovative low-budget action filmmaking.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
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College student Lucy (Brittany Snow: Pitch Perfect 2) comes up out of the New York City subway to find that all hell has broken loose: there’s gunfire and explosions everywhere, fires burning, mysterious troopers — terrorists? — in black rounding up residents (or killing them), no signs of NYPD or any other legitimate authorities. Terrified, baffled, and on the verge of becoming a victim of the sudden lawlessness, Lucy teams up with reluctant veteran Stupe (Dave Bautista: Blade Runner 2049) as they both attempt to get to safety… if such a place exists.

The less you know about Bushwick (named for Lucy and Stupe’s working-class neighborhood in northern Brooklyn) the better — all the marketing of the film, from the trailer to the DVD descriptions, is far too spoilerish — for the incredibly fierce tension and horror that directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott create is heightened by the uncertainty over just what the hell is going on and how widespread the urban chaos might be: is it just Bushwick? just Brooklyn? is it all of NYC? WTF?

Screenwriter Nick Damici (with Graham Reznick) has a good nasty track record with fresh-take horror: his 2007 rat-virus-zombie flick Mulberry Street is also very specifically New York–ish, and his vampire adventure Stake Land, from 2010, shares an appreciation for fucked-up Americana with Bushwick. But it’s the panache with which Murnion and Milott pull off the trick of the movie appearing to play out in breathless real time, as if it were one long uncut take, that makes the experience so riveting.

The cuts are hidden, mostly pretty seamlessly, as Lucy and Stupe wend their way through abandoned shops and homes, dodging both the strange invaders and those who would take advantage of the anarchy. It’s a no-letup shockwave of social breakdown, and a terrific example of innovative low-budget action filmmaking.

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windy_way8192
windy_way8192
Sun, Nov 05, 2017 4:40pm

I loved it too.

James Groce
James Groce
Sat, Oct 06, 2018 2:35pm

It was beyond horrendous with poor tactical thinking and its very silly political twist destroyed the movie.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  James Groce
Wed, Oct 10, 2018 4:09pm

Explain, please. “Political twist”? In what way could this movie have NOT been political?

James Groce
James Groce
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Oct 12, 2018 2:18am

The invading forces could have been Russian, or, more comically, Canadian. They could have been anything than from another part of the US of A so that all Americans could root for the Americans. Instead, the writers got lazy and tried to slam Texas and the southern states. NetFlix already has a bad reputation with conservatives. So, putting out movies like this one just adds to the division.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  James Groce
Fri, Oct 12, 2018 5:45pm

Any film involving an invading force is by definition political. Even if the invaders are aliens.

Then again the “red states bad, blue states good” routine has been done so often that it’s hard to pretend it doesn’t make my eyes glaze over. And this from someone who was born in Detroit.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  James Groce
Sun, Oct 14, 2018 6:32pm

The invading forces could have been Russian, or, more comically, Canadian.

And neither of those would have been political?

the writers got lazy

Just because you didn’t like it doesn’t mean it was lazy.

NetFlix already has a bad reputation with conservatives.

Netflix had nothing to do with making this movie.

James Groce
James Groce
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 3:31am

go away

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  James Groce
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 12:51pm

It’s her website. YOU go away.

James Groce
James Groce
reply to  Bluejay
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 7:19pm

No, I’ll leave these comments here so that others can see the typical response from our hostess. How about that Bluebird? Typical responses from the non-thinking Leftists. How dare anyone disagree with the Leftists. BTW, Rotten Tomatoes reviewers also hated this silly movie. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bushwick_2017/

This is by far the most action our hostess has seen in some time. Pretty sad if you think about it.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  James Groce
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 7:34pm

* Rolls eyes. *

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  James Groce
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 7:44pm

the typical response from our hostess

She asked incisive questions and replied succinctly as your comments deserved. Yes, pretty typical for her, thank goodness.

How dare anyone disagree with the Leftists.

No one’s stopping you from disagreeing with “the leftists.” You just don’t like it that they can respond and make you look stupid.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  James Groce
Tue, Oct 16, 2018 9:36pm

Dude, *I’m* a Rotten Tomatoes reviewer!

No, I’ll leave these comments here so that others can see the typical response from our hostess.

Such a public service you are providing!

James Groce
James Groce
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Oct 18, 2018 9:46pm

Yes, I know you are. You were one of the few who gave this movie a thumbs up. I provided input to you as to why I found it less than agreeable. The minions of the Left came out of the woodwork like the creatures of the dark and spewed their little criticisms that no one should dare to challenge the group think. And, actually, I am providing a public service whether you care to acknowledge it or not.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  James Groce
Fri, Oct 19, 2018 1:41am

Again: No one is stopping you from challenging anyone. You’re just having a tantrum because others, in turn, can challenge YOU. Free speech works both ways, baby. Don’t be such a snowflake about it.

I am providing a public service whether you care to acknowledge it or not

Aww, it’s nice that you find meaning in posting smart, substantial comments like “non-thinking Leftists” and “go away.” It’s always good to believe in yourself. Good job, run along now, Jimmy.

James Groce
James Groce
reply to  Bluejay
Sat, Oct 20, 2018 5:21pm

^^ proving my point yet again. BTW, what is a bluejay? An annoying, chattering creature that defecates everywhere. Good name choice to hide behind.

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  James Groce
Mon, Oct 22, 2018 6:46pm

Ho-hum. Yet another entry from the “I am rubber, you are glue” school of political rhetoric.

Personally, I think blue jays are kinda nice.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Mon, Oct 22, 2018 9:07pm

The guy’s been banned, Tonio, and he had nothing left but ad hominems anyway. I wouldn’t waste any more time on him. :-)

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  Bluejay
Mon, Oct 22, 2018 11:53pm

Okay.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  James Groce
Fri, Oct 19, 2018 6:23pm

You were one of the few who gave this movie a thumbs up.

The film at an RT rating of 44%. That means almost half of the critics who’ve checked in liked it: at the moment it’s 29 Fresh and 37 Rotten. I am hardly one of “a few.”

But, wait… You disagree with my slightly minority take on the film. You agree with the slight majority of critics. And yet somehow you are also challenging groupthink?

You’ve lost the plot somewhere.

James Groce
James Groce
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Oct 20, 2018 5:20pm

yawn. I see you were a math major. ha!

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  James Groce
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 9:12pm

lol wut

James Groce
James Groce
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 9:47pm

yawn…..you guys are so easily manipulated.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  James Groce
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 9:58pm

Yeah, but all we have to do is put a girl and a black dude and then an Asian girl into the Star Wars movies and you all lose your damn minds :-)

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  James Groce
Mon, Oct 15, 2018 10:49pm

lol wut

I mean, toss me a bone here. I’m trying to communicate in your native tongue: 12-year-old would-be internet troll.