Lucy emerges from a Brooklyn subway to find that her neighbourhood is under attack by black-clad military soldiers. She crosses paths with an ex-Marine corpsman, Stupe, who reluctantly helps her fight for survival through a civil war, as Texas attempts to secede from the United States of America.
Set in the New York borough of (yes you guessed it) Bushwick…. Bushwick follows the unlikley alliance of twenty something year old Lucy (Brittany Snow) and Grizzled Iraq war veterain Stupe (Dave Bautista) as they fight to survive through their Brooklyn neighbourhood after a civil invasion by a private Texas military force turns the entire east coast of America into an unruly urban war zone.
Right off the bat we are treated to the sounds of the legendary Aesop Rock, and his strumming deep old school hip hop beats instantly set the tone for the movie with a sound that can be heard throughout, keeping up with the relentless pace of the story and fitting perfectly with the urban ascetic of the Bushwick backdrop.
So straight away I was sat watching this opening title sequence thinking even if this film is garbage, seeing ‘Original Soundtrack by Aesop Rock’ is still enough to get me instantly invested… however this film is far from garbage, and its pretty safe to say that Bushwick completely blew my god damn mind!
The movie opens leaving very little time for us to get settled as the action starts from the get go, with what seems like just another regular New York train journey, suddenly being interrupted by the screams a man completely engulfed in flames.
what follows is our leading lady Lucy quickly realising that her home town of Bushwick is far from the way she left it, and the streets are now overrun with mysterious soldiers dressed in black that seem to be gunning down civilians left right and centre.
Missiles tear up the pavement, cars are turned upside down, peoples pets are getting thrown from 3 story windows, shits on fire… its everything you want to see from an urban warfare movie, and this is all within the first couple of minuets of the film!
Brittany plays the part of Lucy perfectly in my opinion, she is just the right mix of a scared girl thrown into a world of chaos were she couldn’t be more out of her comfort zone, and a brave women who must step up to the plate and do everything she can to make sure her and as many other people as possible survive this unexpected onslaught of the city.
If you watch this with your girlfriend/sister/mum, you will probably hear them constantly reminding you that they recognise Lucy’s face from somewhere… Well I will save you the headache, its probably pitch perfect, one AND two… or maybe hairspray?? either way, it is great to see actress Brittany Snow take on a role that is completely different to her usual chick flick comedies, and not only that, she jumps into this one head first, getting incredibly down and dirty, as bullets fly and explosions erupt, Lucy is quite often caught up right in the middle of things as the city is torn down around her, something that when a film is shot all in a clever one take steady cam style, is hard to switch between actress and stunt performer, so i like to think a lot of what we see her go through, Brittany actually did herself.
Oh yeah, I didn’t mention this yet!… OK… So basically the whole movie is pretty much ALL shot entirely in one huge take?!
Well, not exactly there are a few times the camera fades to black etc and we are introduced to a new set piece, but the film is actually all filmed to look like it was entirely captured in just a handful of HUGE single take shots.
Now, as a film maker myself, watching a film like this I am constantly, without even realising it looking for the cuts when a camera swoops past a doorframe to almost seamlessly blend into the next take but appear as one shot, however with this particular film, this method is done insanely well, and the time it must have taken to choreograph such impressive sequences doesn’t even bare thinking about. Imagine one of the long corridor single take fight scenes from daredevil on Netflix… if it lasted over 90 minuets!!!
Guided by ‘The Raid’ and ‘The Raid 2’ producer Nate Bolotin, Cooties co-directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott have really taken their portfolio to the next level with Bushwick and although i have said this time and time again, even if you don’t enjoy action set pieces and violent shoot outs in urban landscapes (why are you even here?!) this is still one to watch even if its just to view as a study piece.
No action movie would be complete without an action hero, and Bushwick is no exception as we have the great specimen that is Dave Bautista who also produced the film, in one of his strongest and most intimidating roles yet as the war torn ex U.S marine Stupe.
Since leaving the WWE to pursue acting, Bautista has gone from strength to strength, and also really showed his diversity with roles like Drax in Marvels ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (really plugging Marvel here with the shout outs i know) and Tong Po in ‘Kickboxer Vengener’
Stupes introduction into the film is a menacing one as he rescues Lucy from near death (and worst) taking out a couple of thirsty degenerates using the currently situation as an opportunity to commit crimes of their own, and choosing the wrong guys house to do it in forcing Stupe and Lucy to work together to make their way out of the city.
Stupe and Lucy’s relationship is something that is a pleasure to watch develop on screen, and although Stupes initial resilience to help Lucy makes his seem cold, heartless and one dimensional, he quickly realise they need each other to get through the tragedy of this ground attack, and it is great to see such an unlikely duo work so well together.
Without giving away major spoilers, we find out from one of the captured enemy soldiers (after a bit of a WWE style Batista beat down and interrogation) that he is from Kentucky… instantly surprising the audience as it would be quite easy to expect this to be the usual foreign invasion red dawn style story, but not in the movie Bushwick, and we find out that the invasion is actually from a force a lot closer to home… Texas!
That’s right, along with a few neighbouring states, Texas wants to be declared it’s own completely separate entity to the rest of the U.S.A and after their initial wave of what the soldier claims was a ‘peaceful’ sweep of the city, they where met by unexpected retaliation from New Yorkers leaving the texas officials no other choice but to order their fellowTexas countrymen to open fire and shoot to kill.
Its the retaliation of the civillians of new york that is one of the main highlights of this movie, as we see everything from gang members to church goers unite and rise up against the Texas millitary, scenes featuring dudes on crosser bikes petrol bombing armoured vehicles and jewish freedom fighters shotgunning their way past enemy strong holds were two of my personal favourite moments.
All in all, Bushwick is an outstanding movie that mixes call of duty-esque urban shootouts with the make-shift weapon melee combat style of ‘The Purge’ movies, every next scene being unpredictable and ‘holy shit’ moments around every corner!
This is defiantly a movie that I will be watching over and over again, I have since made it my personal one man mission to make sure everybody I know watches this movie hoping they will enjoy it as much as i did!
Bushwick hits Blue ray, DVD and Select Theatres on October 23rd!
Words by Theo Cane Garvey