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‘Bushwick’ Trashes Texas, Red State Americans

How did a B-movie bust like “Bushwick” get into the Sundance Film Festival?

The prestigious event allegedly accepts the best of the best from the indie world. Filmmakers’ careers can be made by getting their work screened in Park City, Utah.

Yet “Bushwick” debuted via Sundance all the same.

Did the film’s progressive premise punch its entry card? It’s hard to think otherwise after viewing a film with the rancid message aimed at a large swath of America.

Brittany Snow is Lucy, a grad student coming home to the Bushwick section of New York to see grandma. She’s even sporting a red jacket to connect the fairy tale dots.

Lucy emerges from an oddly empty subway station to discover a war zone. Explosions. Smoke. Gun fire. She quickly bonds with Stupe (Dave Bautista), a former Marine who can fight and sew people up as needed.

Convenient.

Together, they attempt to reach a safe zone while bullets and bodies pile up all around them.

“Bushwick” reveals its nasty message at the halfway mark. A group of southern states, including Texas, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana, want out of the U.S.A.

By force.

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The Fathers of the New America Coalition declared war against the rest of the country in order to secede and start a land “free from government tyranny.”

Meanwhile, the film is hitting theaters as some progressives pine for California to create a separate country of its own. Oops.

That’s not all. These murderous shock troops picked Bushwick as an attack point because its “ethnic diversity” made it a soft target.

“It ain’t racist. It’s fact,” one expository-lovin’ soldier says.

“Bushwick” wisely restricts the talking points to but a few minutes of screen time. That leaves us to endure the predictable plot points, clumsy narrative and hapless dialogue.

How many times can we hear variations of, ‘Let’s get the f*** out of here?”

Bautista, a sharp comic presence in two “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, is one-note gruff from start to finish. It doesn’t help that his character’s backstory features the prototypical anti-American soldier slur.

All together now, “I did a lot of things I’m not proud of.”

FAST FACT: “Bushwick” star Brittany Snow says the premise behind her new movie “isn’t that far-fetched.”

You’ll also meet the most annoying film character of 2017 … or maybe the decade. Belinda (Angelic Zambrana) is Lucy’s stoner sister, and the less said about her moronic character, the better.

We never get to meet the soldiers infiltrating Bushwick beyond Captain Exposition. Delivering a faceless enemy usually makes liberal film critics scowl. Yet they gave “Bushwick” a pass on that front.

Hmm.

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The Church also suffers a brief but obvious sucker punch late in the film. A local priest checks out, but not before suggesting his own moral failings -- out of the complete blue.

Directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott (“Cooties“) rely far too much on long tracking shots. The first time it gives us a “you are there” immediacy. The second helping isn’t bad, either. By the seventh time? The technique is far too visible. The movie’s overhead shots of the city under fire are far more effective.

Otherwise, “Bushwick” fails as both a political allegory and guilty pleasure cinema.

The film’s Rotten Tomatoes score hardly reflects a project worthy of Sundance consideration (43 percent ‘Rotten’). Liberal critics cheered its storyline while acknowledging its myriad flaws.

Did the programmers at Sundance follow a similar path?

HiT or Miss: Love good, ol’ fashioned B-movie mayhem? You won’t find it in “Bushwick,” a lame attempt at blending politics with blood and guts action.

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21 Comments

  1. Filmmakers who let their silly political beliefs overwhelm any common sense they may have(maybe they don’t have any).

    1. A way for the hipster gentrification jerks to delude themselves that the “urban” (READ: poor, Black, scary) resident natives (as in “there before them”) actually DON’T hate them. Just waiting for the chance to save them from scary redneck/hillybillies ….because – UNITY.

    2. That’s how you get awards. They don’t really care whether anyone watches or not. I mean, look at the track record of the anti-Iraq movies at the box office.

  2. The Fathers of the New America Coalition declared war against the rest of the country in order to secede and start a land “free from government tyranny.”

    And the problem with this is …?

  3. I am going to sue Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott for pain and suffering. I rolled my eyes so hard I injured myself.

    1. It’s how every successful secession works: attack the farthest location where the population is densest and the streets are narrowest.

      1. No he did not “invade” Gettysburg, he invaded the North to upset Union campaign plans, relieve pressure on Vicksburg and possible force a decisive action by threatening Baltimore, Pennsylvania and Washington.

        The battle of Gettysburg was an unplanned event, one Lee would have happily avoided if he could, since it forced him to fight on ground not of his choosing but events snowballed.

        He still came within a hairs breadth of defeating the army of Potomac and likely confederate victory in the war, in part by his own decision (not listening to Longstreet prior to day 2) as well as poor decision making by subordinates (Ewell on Day 1, Longstreet on day 2)

        If you ever have the opportunity to visit, do so. It is an unbelievable experience.

      2. Gettysburg became famous because Confederate soldiers didn’t have enough shoes to go around. A bunch were on the way there to scrounge for shoes and ran into Buford’s cavalry instead.

  4. It’s the hipster Red Dawn.

    Charlie Sheen: “What’s the difference between us and them?”
    Patrick Swayze: “Because we’ve, like, lived here for two and a half years!”

  5. The secessionist states in the south are fighting in NEW YORK CITY? What’s wrong (terribly wrong!) with this picture?

  6. Uh – why not just cut off transportation routes – let the urban area starve? Destroy electrical power? – New Yorkers would turn on themselves (historically accurate). Or perhaps look at what actually happened in Iraq – when the US forces invaded, the locals turned on each other for massive personal score settling. Yeah…not

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