Saturday, August 26, 2017

Review of BUSHWICK: Secession Scenarios

August 25, 2017

This is a low-profile motion picture released in local theaters without much prior advertisements. Bushwick is a working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City. I did not know that prior to watching this. I thought it was the name of the hero character, especially with that cheesy local subtitle "The Last Man Standing" under the main title during the opening credits. 

Lucy, a civil engineering graduate student, took the subway with her boyfriend Jose to go visit her grandmother's house in Bushwick. However, when they alighted on Church St. Station, they became aware that something majorly wrong and violent was going on topside when they saw the station deserted and a burning man came running down the stairs. 

Circumstances left Lucy alone to navigate through the streets of Brooklyn which had been turned into a veritable war zone with soldiers on the streets and on rooftops shooting indiscriminately at anyone passing by. Along her way, Lucy met Stupe, an ex-Marine who said he needed to go to Hoboken to be with his family. Together they learned they had to make it to the demilitarized zone in Cleveland Park to escape all the violence.

Lucy was supposed to be a totally clueless girl with no survival skills to speak of. Her being cute and white will play a role somewhere in the plot. With such a role description, Brittany Snow fits into the role, no doubt, as far as looking and acting like a fish out of water. But I thought she was not convincing enough during the church scene when she was supposed to motivate people into action. She did not project that strong of a presence to do so.

Dave Bautista, now that is a strong presence, even when he was not saying anything. He was credible as a lowly janitor named Stupe, who turned out to be an ex-Marine medic with all his ever-ready bag of medical instruments and supplies. Of course, he is a marksman, and also had the skills for hand to hand combat, able to lift and flip over full-grown men. If I were trapped in that situation, I'd like to be with this guy too. 

The duo would encounter a few remarkable characters along the way. They go to pick up Lucy's sister Belinda (Angelic Zambrana). She is so stoned and spaced out with her joints and bongs, I wonder why they had to include her there in the story at all. In another building, they meet Ma (Myra Lucretia Taylor), a stereotypical obese African-American mother, who can hold her gangster sons in tow and cook a mean stew at the same time. These strange characters do serve as humorous relief from the tense situations.

The script by Nick Damici and Graham Reznick was actually very interesting in its envisioning the scenario of a second US Civil War which ensues when Texas and its neighboring states attempt to secede from the union. This kind of tense political situation may seem far-fetched in the US now. Elsewhere in the world though, this exact case of rebellion, taking over, and hapless residents running for their lives is very relevant. It actually hit closer to home than I'd ever imagine.

The directorial duo Cary Murnion and Jonathan Miliott definitely brought us right into the thick of the action. The first thing I noticed about this film is the camera just following all the action up the stairs, through windows and doors, seemingly in one continuous take. I noted less than five clear cutaways to change the scene during the compact 90 minute running time.  The dynamism of the camera movement, tightening in and pulling out while following the characters everywhere they went made it very tense and exciting to watch. You will never guess how it would end. 7/10. 


  1. Its so sad to see so much stereotyping like white cute gal is dumb or the African American mother! The camera man seems to have done an excellent job!

  2. I think this is the usual heart pumping, action pack movie. Knowing that you gave it a 7 seems to be a good one. However, I'd still pass on this, well, I just don't dig it.

  3. I'm all for action movies nowadays and would definitely love to watch this! <3

  4. This looks like a really intense action movie.Dave Bautista and Brittany snow are both look really fit in their role as an action star.Based in your review it's an interesting movie,great article.

  5. I will watch this again, and it's a well deserved and much respected 9/10 from me... great job to all those involved in the production of this sweet little gem.