Also watched on streaming the new action/drama Bushwick. This is an action film produced by and starring Dave Bautista as an attempt (I suspect) to give him some opportunities for dramatic acting. But it’s also an exercise in single take film making. It’s pretty successful on both counts.
Set in the near future, a young woman (played by Brittany Snow) is returning to her neighborhood of Bushwick in New York when explosions rock the city. In a single (apparent) take, she emerges from the subway to find the city overrun by mysterious black-clad soldiers fighting the police, then gangsters, and finally regular citizens uprising against… whoever they are.
Most of the film is shot to look like a handful of long-takes, almost documentary style, as characters run through real city streets, into buildings, into apartments, avoiding soldiers, fighting when necessary, etc. You can see where some of the actual cuts are so its not as well done simulating single takes as something like Birdman, but it’s more ambitious than that movie was. As an exercise in film making, it’s a success.
As a dramatic movie… it also works pretty well. Dave Bautista plays a quiet but efficient former soldier who just wanted to retire from the violence… until this event PULLS HIM BACK IN. He plays it quiet, he plays it straight. And he has one solid scene where he can emote harder than he’s ever had to do before and it works.
It’s not a big movie but it was an ambitious and well-crafted film. I did like it… though some of the mystery of the black-clad soldiers is lost if you read the plot synopsis. But that’s not the movie’s fault and ultimately it doesn’t matter a great deal since the film is meant to be more a visceral experience than it is a thoughtful treatise on modern politics. I liked it.