Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion's ("Cooties") biggest obstacle here is that they want to tell a wide-canvas story, the kind JJ Abrams would secure $150 million to make, on the budget of an average episode of your favorite Netflix show. And their attempts to champion Brooklyn's ethnic diversity are undermined by the fact that nearly every POC a hapless Brittany Snow meets is either a gangbanger or would-be rapist.
Its Birdman-style long takes and large scale (many locations both outside and inside a Bronx neighborhood,) are impressive, even amazing, for a modestly budgeted indie film. Despite Bushwick starting near the fray, for an action flick, it grows tiresome and repetitive. There are also only 2 worthwhile dialogue scenes in the film, one that sums up its political-baiting logline, the other actual characterization.
Give the directors props for their illusionary one-take aesthetic that gives the film some visual style and for vastly improving on their previous genre pic (Cooties). Unfortunately the barely there script that seems to mix insurgency and the 'purge' needed a lot more work. Cast is given little to do though Batista manages to improve his usual game here.
In the current political climate -the Disunited States led by Dictator Trump are on the brink of chaos- this scenario is more than plausible: a coup d'etat by the New Right is inevitable. This John Carpenter's homage is the cinematic equivalent of a Rainbow 6 game. Yet, it is hard to match up with reality when sinister characters like Steve Bannon call the shots. The insurrection is being televised daily on Fox News
Solid action thriller with an intense and visceral style. Both Bautista and Snow are great in their respective roles even though they have to contend with uneven writing. The subject matter feels topical but any sort of deeper ruminations are left out in favour of complicated long shots of action scenes. Good soundtrack too.
Loved it. I could try to explain this, but fuck y'all with your 2.6 average rating. You hate entertainment. You're only here to judge films made on 16mm and projected to 4 people in a revival theater. This was Carpenter mixed with Whedon yet original. Plus it was hella fun.
Meticulous action choreography, camera work and sound design - along with unobtrusive edits - keep the pace up and the atmosphere flowing between scenes, letting up occasionally for deeper character moments. Bautista handles those moments with a newfound brilliance, as well as flexing his usual physical expertise. The mirror this film holds to the present steeps it in tragic realism. A powerful and bleak prophecy.
The worst film I saw at Sundance 2017. Two stars may be too generous, but I'll give one to Dave Bautista for expanding his range like we've never seen and Brittany Snow for being a champ. Buschwick is stupid, nonsensical, and utterly undisciplined - none of which are necessarily bad things - except when it's boring. Attempting the illusion of one unbroken take ala Rope, this feels like an expensive student film.