Film Review: Bushwick

Directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott’s thriller Bushwick has a lot of promise. Although the film is ultimately a bit uneven, it has several things going for it.

Lucy arrives at her neighbourhood metro station in Bushwick, New York, and something appears to be wrong. The area is under attack from an unknown source, and Lucy must rely on the help of a stranger to get back home…

Bushwick is a low-budget action thriller which attempts to punch above its weight. On a number of occasions, the film is successful in this endeavour. Murnion and Milott start proceedings with an impressive opening sequence. This effectively conveys the confusion and terror felt by protagonist Lucy. It is also a good showcase of the directors’ technical abilities.

Another thing that Bushwick does well is keep its viewers in the dark about the identity of the film’s antagonists. For a significant portion of the film, it is unclear who is attacking the neighbourhood, and why they are doing so. When details are revealed, the writers tease at an interesting racial dynamic. This feels remarkably resonant, given very recent news events. Yet despite the introduction of this social theme, the film does not explore it in any real depth. Instead, action and a focus on the protagonists dominant proceedings.

Although the action sequences are decent throughout, the film is less convincing in its quieter scenes. Here, wooden dialogue hinders the character and plot development. Furthermore, Lucy’s new-found fighting capabilities stretch the suspension of disbelief. Whilst the film rightly depicts her determination and strength, it is a bit of a stretch for her to make great shots having never used a weapon.

Brittany Snow delivers a decent performance as Lucy. However, it is Dave Bautista who is the more memorable presence as the haunted Stupe. Bushwick generates some interesting ideas, yet the film does not pursue its most intriguing one with any real conviction.

Bushwick is released in select cinemas on the 25th August and on digital download and TVOD on 28th August 2017.

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