Fresh off his positively scene-stealing turn in Marvel’s game-changer Guardians of the Galaxy, Dave Bautista returns to do a little more than just cracking skulls in Sundance hit Bushwick.
Running from a script by two genre greats, Stake Land’s Nick Damici and Until Dawn’s Graham Reznick, it’s pipped to be the former-wrestler’s first big star-making lead, and based on the early footage and promos, we can totally see why.
Bautista’s sensitive ex-military man Stupe partners with naive grad student Lucy (Pitch Perfect’s Brittany Snow) when their community-driven neighbourhood of Bushwick (itself just a tiny part of New York’s Brooklyn) comes under sudden attack from a military invasion. And we’re not talking more of the same cookie-cutter Russian/German/North Korean villainy either; this isn’t yet another Red Dawn remake situation. The invading forces here are American born – a composite army made up of Texas and all of its surrounding southern states, hell-bent on kickstarting a 21st-century civil war, with New York their first call to arms.
It’s a totally insane set-up, especially for a movie made independently, and on a shoestring budget no less. But after premiering at Utah’s world-famous Sundance Film Festival back in January, the buzz around this thoughtful little firecracker has been building fast, and with directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott’s debut hit Cooties a big hit at Sundance too, there’s no reason to believe that Bushwick will be anything less than a huge step-up. Because if they haven’t quite hooked you yet, just wait ’til you hear how the whole thing’s shot.
Borrowing a page from Birdman’s book, the directing duo rather madly chose to shoot the whole film as a string of increasingly long takes, making all of the action so that it take place entirely in real time. There’s a handful of cuts, and in order to make moving between different locations a bit more practical, there’s plenty of invisible editing too, stitching sequences shot separately together to make them flow as one. But otherwise, Bushwick looks to be all about maintaining a constant energy which, for an action film of this level, could be a huge boost.
Even without a giant Hollywood-style effects budget, Bushwick looks set to play fast and loose with some of the action world’s now fairly worn-out formulas, and we’re hugely excited to see the outcome. Plenty of (literal) non-stop action, and Dave Bautista’s already tried-and-tested, much deeper approach to movie violence, seems to be a totally killer combination, and with Murnion and Milott at the helm, there might even be a few laughs too. Not to mention a thumping score from none other than Aesop Rock.
By this point, do we even need to tell you to keep your eyes peeled when it drops into cinemas this August?
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