One of the only benefits of the current political climate in the US is that it’s fertile ground for a new wave of creativity in filmmaking. The Purge, and its sequels (hopefully not terrifyingly prescient) portrayed a nation after collapse where populism and totalitarianism holds sway. Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott’s first film Cooties was a fresh and funny take on genre cinema. Their new film, Bushwick, focusses on the possibility of civil war in today’s America.
Lucy (Brittany Snow), a post-grad student, arrives in Bushwick to discover a deserted station. She finds her neighbourhood in absolute chaos; fighting on the streets and has no idea what’s going on. Whilst attempting to get to her grandma’s house, she’s pursued by a couple of men. Lucy’s rescued by Stupe (Dave Bautista), an ex-marine trying to reach his family. Together, they must navigate the dangerous streets in order to escape the nightmare they find themselves in.
Bushwick is a thrilling rollercoaster ride set in the middle of a warzone which feels unpleasantly possible. Filmed using a succession of (skilfully edited) single tracking shots, it creates the illusion of being in the middle of a video game. Whilst the low budget and some plodding dialogue put a slight dampener on things, Bushwick is a refreshingly driven piece of film-making. The acting is ok, but it’s Snow and Bautista chemistry which really shines through. You can’t help but be impressed by the scope and vision of Bushwick, even when it doesn’t always pay off.
Bushwick is in cinemas from Friday 25 August and available on digital from Monday 28 August.